N PS ARCHIVE
AN INQUIRY INTO THE
DEVELOPMENT Q? qq^o wap AS A
SYSTEM OF CONFLICT,
MOYNIHAN JOHN J
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MASTER'S THESIS M-882
MOYNIHAN, John Joseph
; /AN INQUIRY INTO THE DEVELOPMENT OF COLD
WAR AS A SYSTEM OF CONFLICT.
The American University, M.A., 1966
Political Science, international law and relations
University Microfilms, Inc., Ann Arbor, Michigan
AN INQUIRY INTO THE DEVELOPMENT OP COLD WAR
AS A SYSTEM OP CONFLICT
John Joseph Koynihan
Submitted to the
Faculty of the School of International Service
of The American University
In Partial Fulfillment of
The Requirements for the Degree
MASTER OF ARTS
Dudley Knox Library , tiv
Monterey, CA 93943
TABLH 07 CONSENTS
INTRODUCTION . . . iv
I. TIE CONCEPTUAL FRAIE'./ORK 1
II. SETTING TIE 3TAGE
1. Tlie Historical Background 3
2. The Normalisation of the System .... 17
III. THE LE330N3 0? BERLIN 33
1. Non-Confrontation 3h
2. Deliberatcness of Action ........ 40
3. Territorial Limitation of Conflict ... M
4. Cold V.'ar Negotiation 43
5. The Techniques 52
The use of intermediaries ...... 33
5. The Lessons 57
IV. THE DEVELOPING 3Y3TEH 50
1. Korea and Limited War . 59
Crossing the parallel 63
Sanctuary beyond the Yalu • 66
The role of China . 67
2. Covert Power Projection 7 Z ''
An evaluation 81
3. The ITon-interventions 03
4. Political Warfare &5
Historical development 85
The nature of political warfare 08
The weapons of political warfare .... 89
5. The Roles of Diplomacy 9$
V. SUEZ: TEE KA2C3E SYSTEI-I 104
VI. ANALYSIS OF 3ES SY3TET: . 114
1. The Rules of Cold War 113
Objectives of cold war 118
Requirements to participate ■ . . 120
The rules of conduct 123
Winning in cold war . . . 126
Ending ccld war 129
Overview; . . , . . 130
VII. CONCLUSION: APPLICABILITY FOR TODAY . . . : . . 132
The limits of the system 132
Evaluation of the system 134
Applicability for today 137
szlzct^d bibliography 139
By the end of the Second World War, the United States
and the Soviet Union had between them certain differences of
interest and ideology that were too great to be ignored. The
manner in which these differences were expressed and the ac-
tions taken to resolve them have, over the past twenty years,
come to be known as the cold war. The relations between the
two powers in the postwar world have taken a form that is, in
certain ways, new to the history of the world; a form that is
directly a product of the age in which it came to be.
This study will be concentrated upon form. It will be
an inquiry into the form taken in the expression of the gen-
erally hostile relations between the two great powers. It
will attempt to demonstrate the acceptance by each of a method
of conflict that had characteristics distinctly different
from those of previous methods of conflict; and it will attempt
to determine these characteristics and to trace their develop-
The form in which the quarrel between the United States
and the Soviet Union has been expressed was developed and re-
fined through their first decade of conflict. During this
period of time the developing and refining process consisted
of the establishment of a series of precedents that were,
through trial and error, tacitly accepted and reinforced or
rejected by both sides. There have been times in the devel-
opment of these precedents when the two powers came close to
war with one another, but on every occasion so far it has
This paper will be an examination of the sum total of
precedents for cold war action with a view toward the develop-
ment of accepted rules of conduct by which a great-power con-
flict has been expressed. It will evaluate any rules discov-
ered to determine their strength or lack of strength. Finally,
it will proceed from an examination of the Soviet-American
action pattern to a view of cold war as a conceptual whole,
the sum of rules and precedents, and attempt to judge its
value for the conduct of conflicts other than the one that
brought it into being.
This author knows of no other study of cold war as a
method of conducting conflict separate and distinct from .«"
other methods of conducting conflict. The nearest thing to
such a study would be The Cold V« r ar . . . And After , by Professor
Charles 0. Lerche, Jr., of The American University. Professor
Lerche uses a method he calls strategic analysis and studies
the strategic interaction of the two opponents in the Soviet-
American cold war. He looks upon the cold war as a distinct
period in the relations between the two states, and he does
not study it in the abstract nor attempt to draw from its events
lessons for the conduct of future conflict. As his level of
study is strategic, this will be tactical, for it is on the
level of tactics, techniques, and weapons used that the cold
war makes its claim to distinction and offers a pattern to be
followed. While this study does describe some of the events
already described in The Cold War . . . And After , they are done
in quite different ways and toward different ends that this
author hopes v/ill complement the previous work.
THE CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK
The idea of cold war as a system of conflict comes
from the notion of "war system" expressed by Walter Millis
and James Real in The Abolition of War and also by Bert
Cochran in his book The War System . In his book, Cochran
never defines his term; but he implies it to mean the habit
of resorting to war for the final solution of international
problems; and he includes in it all the physical appurtenances,
particularly the military establishments, built to support
this habit. Millis and Real speak of a war system "as spe-
cific to an age or culture as are its economic and legal sys-
tems". They describe the war system as being:
compounded of many elements — the weapons available;
the forms of military organization and command; the
relation of the military function to the economic
and political functions of the societies involved;
the legal, customary, or ethical principles sur-
rounding the military instrumentalities and largely
governing their use. It is the total war system,
usually beginning with the weapons available and
rising through the political and ethical systems
based upon them, that determines the place of war
in society, that puts limitations upon its use in
in the affairs of the group or states concerned, and
that defines the role of war in the larger problem
of intergroup relations. 1
^Walter K11113 and James Real, The Abolition of War ,
(New York: The Macmillan Company, 19o3T7 PP. 5-6.
Mills and Real consider the modern war system to be
deeply imbedded in the notion of the sovereign national state.
This has led to the concept of total war fought, of necessity,
for motives that would appeal to the nationalistic spirit of
the citizens of the state . This sytem of warfare has been
becoming less and less able to resolve' international issues
as it has become more and more directed to the pursuit of ab-
stract power; and with the advent of the balance of nuclear
terror even a demonstration of the inability of total war to
solve conflicts can be so costly as to be prohibitive to men
Millis and Real, in their book, look for a future in
which the residual problems of the Second World War are re-
solved and in which a demilitarized international political
system is in operation. The say that we will still
have clashes of economic power and interest — politics
is, in large measure, the resolution of power prob-
lems — but they can be resolved today, we feel reason-
ably confident, without the enormous suffering and
quite needless waste of the early 1930 f s... Sooner
or later it will become apparent that basic inter-
national power problems can be resolved without the
suicidal destruction of a major war. As this fact
becomes apparent, we shall be on the road to an
international political system from which major war
has been eliminated, because we shall be on t^e road
to seeing tha^j major war has become an anachronism... 2
William V. Shannon has called world politics in recent
2 Millis and Real, The Abolition of War , pp. 139-90.
years "an attempt to work out the ground rules for political
conflict In the thermonuclear age. Since the nature of nu-
clear weapons makes it too dangerous to escalate conflicts
into major wars, these conflicts have to be considered in a
different light than heretofore. "3 Both Killis and Real and
Cochran look for an abandonment of the present waj- system;
and Millis and Real see, as an alternative to nuclear war, a
demilitarized world in which "the irresolvable pov/er problems-
most of them military power problems--need no longer enter
into international politics."^ They admit, however, that the
creation of such a world is still a part of the future.
There is another alternative to nuclear war other than
the abolishment of a war system and the formation of a demil-
itarized world. This alternative is the replacement of the
present war system — and even the word "present" may not de-
scribe nuclear warfare accurately any more — with one better
suited to the age of the balance of terror. The alternative
system cannot be, strictly speaking, a war system, for war
is the institutionalization of violence between states; and
violence between states that possess nuclear weapons poses
dangers too great to be acceptable. Rather, the alternative
^From an unpublished paper, "Politics," for the Center
for the Study of Democratic Institutions, quoted in Millis and
Real, The Abolition of War, p. 190.
^The Abolition of War, p. 197.
system should be a system of conflict, a channel for the
articulation and expression, and possibly but not necessarily
the resolution — since even war cannot any longer guarantee a
resolution — of major disagreements between states. War Is a
system of conflict; but systems of conflict are not necessar-
ily limited to war; and they can Include any method of compe-
tition upon which the participants can agree and from which
they can receive satisfaction.
As an alternative to nuclear warfare for the expression
of international conflict in the present age, one can look to
the "cold war" that has been carried on between the United
States and Russia for the past twenty years. From its events
prior to the end of 1956, it is possible to discern a pattern
of conflict articulation which has provided for those nations
participating in it many of the advantages and few of the
disadvantages of modern warfare. Advantages which are not
capable of being provided by the cold war, such as definite
resolution of issues, are those which have no certainty of
provision in nuclear warfare either. The cold war, as it
existed in its maturity at the end of 1956, will In this
paper be analysed as a conflict system with is own rules of
conduct and patterns of behavior, its own provision for score-
keeping, and its own method of bringing about gains and losses,
all of which had grown out of the events of the preceeding
ten years and had been accepted by its participants.
The theory of games of strategy can provide a basis in
logic for the development of the cold war as a system of
conflict. Thomas C. Schelling, in his book The Strategy
of Conflict , applies game theory to, among other things, in-
ternational relations; and in this light the cold v/ar can
be looked upon as a two-player, nonzero-sum game in which
both players stand to gain more by keeping the game alive or
by ending it, without a decision, by mutual consent than they
stand to gain by "winning". 5 This is so for tv/o reasons, the
first important enough that it makes the second, while highly
significant, unnecessary. The first reason is that winning
the cold war could serve as intolerable provocation to one's
opponent, thereby resulting in nuclear war from which both
sides stand to lose, or in some other kind of action outside
the limits of cold war that would be highly detrimental to
both sides. An example of other kind of action would be, in
the event of a winner in the Moscow- Peking cold war, the open
and irrevolcable split in, and the resultant practical expul-
sion of a key nation and its few remaining followers from,
the world communist movement. This would bring about to the
^Thomas C. Schelling, The Strategy of Conflict (Cam-
bridge: Harvard University Press, i960) J Chapter 4: Toward
A Theory of Interdependent Decision, pp. 83-118.
winner a weakening versus his rivals in the non- communist
world, that is greater than any weakening caused by the con-
tinuance of a Sino-Soviet cold war.
The second reason for not winning a cold war consists
in the benefits conferred upon participants by its existence.
These benefits are such things as the development and mainten-
ance of a national consensus, a threat against which to main-
tain allies that a participant can then use for his own pur-
poses, and the very real ability to express, to the satisfaction
of one's citizens, conflicts with other states. The benefits
of cold war resemble very much those conferred upon the national
state in the past by war or the immediate threat of war, but
they are gained at. the expense of far less blood and wealth
than are normally spent on war.
Schelling relates how experiments in the theory of
games of strategy have demonstrated that it is possible for
two or more players, whether or not in direct communication
v/ith one another, to arrive at a consensus when it is in their
interest to do so." The events from the end of the Second
World War until the end of 1956 Give indications that, with
a minimum of direct verbal communication but with a maximum
of signalling through strategic and tactical moves, the United
States and Russia were able to arrive at at least a limited
6 0£. cit., pp. 53-8.
consensus upon what was and wliat was not acceptable in the
new pattern of international conflict; and the events since
1956 have further enforced, but not significantly added to;
the pattern of action included in this consensus.
SETTING THE STAGE
1. THE HISTORICAL BACKGROUND
Since the rise of the modern nation-state and the
development of allegiance by individuals to the intangibles
of fatherland and a particular way of life, the objectives
of warfare have been expanded and its destructive power has
been greatly increased. This expansion was a direct out-
growth of the ideas and principles upon which nation states
are based, and it has resulted in commitments by the citizens
of the warring state to an extent much greater than had been
true in the past. Ferdinand Foch, lecturing to the French
War College in 1900, characterized the new warfare as follows :
Truly, a new era had begun, that of national wars,
unchecked in speed and scope because they were to con-
secrate to the struggle all the resources of the nation;
because they were to take as their goal not a dynastic
interest, not the conquest or possession of a province,
but the defense and propagation primarily of philosophi-
cal ideals, secondarily of principles of independence,
of unity, of non-material advantages of various kinds;
because they were to put at stake the interests and
personal resources of every common soldier and conse-
quently his sentiments and passions — that is to say,
elements of force which up to then had gone unexploited. 1
^Ferdinand Foch, Do 3 Principes de la Guerre , quoted in
Walter Killis and James Real, The Abolition of War (New York:
The" KacMillan Company, 1963), p. 1$T
Yet the new warfare of the nation state has been unable to
attain its expanded objectives and to resolve conflicts over
intangible goals, particularly the abstract questions of power
and national ideology.
The series of wars of the French Revolution and Napol-
eonic eras was one of the earliest modern attempts to export
an idea by force, and the results gained were used here pri-
marily to increase the national power of the state personi-
fying the idea being exported. The Congress of Vienna resulted
in the formalization of a system in which the further projec-
tion of such intangibles would be considerably more difficult.
For a long time this system was successful.
During the existence of the international system estab-
lished at the Congress of Vienna, wars were fought by the
countries, participating in that system. The Franco-Prussian
War of I87O was fought by Germany using the new mobilization
techniques of national warfare, yet it was limited both in
objective and effect. Its comparatively few battles settled
the immediate power issue between the French and German mil-
itary systems out of which it had risen. It produced a
decision within the limits of the European state system, and
after it things went on much as they had before. The war had
an objective that could be and was attained, the registration
of a shift of the power position of Germany and France within
the international system. Other wars fought on the fringes
of the system, such as the Spanish-American V/ar and the Russo-
Japanese War, were also limited in their objectives and in
their effects on the territorial integrity and way of life of
the participants' homelands.
The area in which the Franco- Prussian V/ar exceeded the
limits of the balance of power system was a direct outgrowth
of the development of the national state. The annexation of
Alsace and Lorraine was not a deliberate object of the war
but v/as something added to increase the German sense of secur-
ity in the face of a permanent Franco-German political enmity.
It also served as a symbol of Germany's new position in the
European system that could be understood by all of her citizens,
as well as by those of France.
During the near-century in which the system established
at the Congress of Vienna was in effect, the European powers
sought to project their power vis-a-vis one another by methods
other than direct warfare. The French occupation of Algeria
in the 1830 1 s can be looked upon as a desire to re-establish
French prestige and power on the European scene. The British
2 Hajo Holborn, The Political Collapse of Europe (Mew
York: Alford A. Knopf, 195l), p.45.
takeover in Egypt assured the protection of the Suez Canal,
not only from the minor powers in the area, but also from
Britain's European rivals. The Boer War of 1899 can be con-
sidered in the same light in regard to the Cape Colony.
There were, during this period, instances which demon-
strated the inability of war to resolve satisfactorily ques-
tions of power and to change the ideas of people, or at least
the extent to which war would have to go to do so. Both the
South African War in 1399 and the capture of the Philippines
by the United States were followed by long and exhaustive
guerrilla wars against people who did not know they had been
beaten. The quick, decisive wars of the international system
were being replaced by something that took longer, cost more,
and still was unable to resolve the question at hand.
The most significant example of the inability of war
to satisfy intangible objectives was the American Civil War,
the first of the modern total wars. The Civil War was fought
by the Union in order to preserve the territorial integrity
of the nation; it was fought by the Confederacy to defend a
set of ideals and traditions and a way of life from impending
domination by outside forces which, it was feared, would try
to change them. By the time of General Lee' surrender it had
become the bloodiest war in history; and its result was a
demonstration that while methods of war could gain physical
control of territory, they were powerless when it came to
altering ideas held by people. The Union was physically
preserved; the spiritual damage to it is being repaired even
The assassination of Archduke Francis Ferdinand could
better be termed the trigger than the cause of the First World
War, It has been extremely difficult for historians to de-
termine specific causes of the war; it was widely believed
almost until it started that such a war was impossible, just
as it was feared that it was inevitable. "The War had no
cause other than the system "out of which it grew; the trag-
edy lay in the fact that there was nothing in the ideas, the
concepts, and institutions of the day to make possible its
prevention. "3 The forty years since the Franco-Prussian War
had seen the development by the other European states of
military machines based upon the Prussian model. The search
by each state for adequate security led to mutually increasing
fear and suspicion; positions taken to gain the support of
allies and the increasing rigidity of the defensive alliances
removed from the international system the flexibility it
needed to surmount this last of many crises.
■^Millis and Real, The Abolition of War, p. 42.
The war, like so many other wars, was expected to be
short, but the deadlock on the Marne proved It otherwise.
The Battle of the Marne was one of the decisive
battles of the world not because it determined that
Germany would ultimately lose or the Allies ultimately
win the war, but because it determined that the war
would go on.. .The nations were caught in a trap made
during the first thirty days out of battles that
failed to be decisive, a trap from which there was,
and has been, no exit.^
By the end of 1916, when President V/oodrow Wilson
made his effort to bring about a peace without victory for
either side, the war had degenerated into a struggle over
power for power* 3 sake. For two years evil had been person-
ified for each side by the opponent, and all the troubles of
the war had been blamed on him. By the end oC 1916, the Allies
were fighting the war to defeat their opponent, to exercise
domination over him, and not for any concrete or objectively
The Allied victory presented problems for v/hich the
international system had no means of solution. The peace was
imposed by the victors upon the vanquished, not negotiated
between them; and its element of dictation without regard for
, the interest of the defeated power v/as more apparent than any
previous peace treaty of modern times. Secondly, the Treaty
of Versailles, unlike any previous treaty of peace, v/as based
^Barbara Tuchman, The Guns of August (lfCff York; The
MacMillan Company, 1962), p. 4^0.
upon a number of general principles enunciated during the war.
"When departure from these principles was frequently made in
the specific articles of the treaty, a handy argument was
provided for those who later wished to oppose it. 5
After Germany had been disarmed, there was little more
that military power could do. The French occupation of the
Ruhr. failed to extract by military means reparations that were
not there to be extracted. The assigning to Germany of the
guilt for the war j the political isolation to which she was
subjected during the 1920 r s and early 1930' s, and the impossible
burden of reparations only served to delay Germany's return
to her rightful place among the nations and to warp her out-
look when she did return. The problems of the 1920' s and
1930 »s could possibly have been handled by the victors and
vanquished working together. Instead, the conditions in the
defeated power were allowed to become such as to precipitate
the rapid rise of Adolf Hitler.
The Second World War has often been referred to as a
continuation of the first. It is relatively simple to iso-
late its cause— the desire of Adolf Hitler to use the means
of war to seek revenge for the peace which the principal mem-
bers of the international system had imposed upon his country.
^Edward H. Carr, International Relations Between the
Two World Wars (London: i:acMillan I: Go. Ltd., 19^3), PP. 4-5.
Both England and Prance seemed to be morally and physically
tired; and, until the invasion of Poland showed that there
was no reasonable point of termination of the German expansion,
were unwilling to use the military power that each had de-
pended upon to keep Germany as a defeated state. To bring
that kind of military power to bear v/ould require, in both
countries, a commitment similar to that of the First ;7orld
War; and the governments and people of England and France
were slow to believe that the war to end all wars had failed
in its purpose so soon.
The Allied objective of unconditional surrender has
to be looked upon as a desire for total domination over their
enemies. The Atlantic Charter, which required an Allied vic-
tory to make it worth the paper on which it was written, was
an attempt to impose terms of peace upon their third major
ally through moral force. The Anglo- American blueprint for
a future world was more humane than any world had turned out
to be in the past, but it was still a set of war aims that
Russia was expected to uphold but in whose formulation she
had no part. The Charter itself was a collection of war ob-
jectives, general in both language and content. The origin-
ators of the Charter* thought of it as something to be applied
toward the rest of the world, with themselves as enforcers
not particularly bound by it.° Their greatest mistake was
an expectation that everyone else on their side was fighting
for the same objectives, and that with the changed circum-
stances of victory all would still be in agreement.
Russian objectives in the Second -,/orld War were a
little more clear. Her initial one was to remain out of the
war as long as possible and to enter on the side of the win-
ner when convenient. Her goal was to increase her power and
the power of the communist system by extending their influence
over as much of Eurasia as possible, particularly those areas
which Russia had lost after the First World War and others
which have historically been objectives of Russian foreign
The end of the Second V/orld V/ar completed a time period
in which "a political system intended to be balanced by force
became transformed into one in which force might destroy peoples
and cultures but could not win politically relevant objectives."
Staughton Lynd, "How the Cold War Began" reprinted in
Norman D. Graebner ed. The Cold V/ar (Boston: D.C. Heath and
Company, 1953 ), p. 3.
^George P. Kenna$ Russia and the V/est Under Lenin and
Stalin (New York: New American Library, 19o0) , pp. 325-9.
"Charles 0. Lerche, The Cold V. r ar ... And After (Englewood
Cliffs: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1065), p. 5.
The only objective accomplished by the Second World War was
that which came as a direct result of its events,, the defeat
of Germany and Japan and the bringing into being of the post-
war International power structure. The war destroyed the
German and Japanese aggressive expansionism, but this destruc-
tion left In its wake a set of new problems, new powers, and
new weapons. The methods by which the new powers have attempted
to articulate their problems with each other, in the face of
the new weapons, have evolved over the space of almost twenty
years into the system we know today as the cold war.
2. THE FORMALIZATION OP THE SYSTEM
"Cold war" is a term that was coined early in the post-
war conflict. At the time it was used to describe Soviet-
American relations, generally hostile in nature, the future of
which was obscure. Over the years, Herbert Bayard Swope's
clever phrase has become a household word, and its meaning
has changed from a strict Soviet-American connotation to "a
conflict characterized by the use of means short of sustained
overt military action"^ and open to application to conflicts
^The term "cold war," which was popularized by Walter
Lippman, was first used publicly by Bernard Baruch in a speech
in April, 19^7. According to a statement made to the press in
other than that between the United States and the Soviet
Union. The cold war system as we know it today has it3 own
vocabulary containing such words as bipolarity, balance of
terror, nuclear blackmail, and crisis management. It has its
own momentum, and to a considerable extent it has been devel-
oping its own rules and limits. Before inquiring further to
determine this extent, however, there will be a pause to re-
view the paths taken by the United States and Russia in their
involvement in conflict with one another and their formaliza-
tion of this conflict.
As soon as the defeat of Germany appeared certain, the
cement of fear holding the Allies together began to crumble.
At the same time, the postwar power positions of the Allies
relative to one another began to come apparent. The wartime
conferences produced "formulations, generalized pledges, and
vague declarations of intentions" 10 which were amenable to
interpretation by each signatory to suit his own interests.
reference to the expression several years later, Mr. Baruch
credited the expression to Herbert Bayard Swope, who had or-
iginated the term as early as 19^6. James D. Atkinson, The Edge
of War (Chicago: Henry Resnery Company, i960 ), p. 230. The
present definition of cold war is from Webster's Seventh New
Collegiate Dictionary (Springfield: G.&C. Merriam Co. I963).
10 Richard W. Van Alstyne, "The United States and Russia",
reprinted in Breabner, The Cold War , p. 27.
The inadequate appreciation of each other's basic policy goals
on the part of the Russians and the Americans produced distrust
on one side and excessive optimism on the other. Russia sought
to gain territory and extend her influence westward as a re-
sult of the war; the United States did not appreciate or seem
to take very seriously this objective. The United States had
no territorial objectives in the war; the Soviets could not
understand this and considered it as an attempt to cheat then
out of their spoils. The American estimate of Japanese abil-
ity to continue the war after the defeat of Germany made
necessary Russian entry into the war against Japan, and Amer-
ican leaders overestimated also their own ability to get
Russian cooperation for the purposes of the United States in
the United Nations.
As the war with Germany neared its end, it was evi-
dent that Eastern Europe would be at the disposal of Russia
regardless of any commitments that were signed earlier. The
Allies were willing to bring only moral force to oppose
Stalin, and the Russian leader was aware of the inability of
moral force to make any effect at all. American public dis-
illusionment toward the idea of Russian cooperation in the
world system desired by the United States was slow in coming.
Winston Churchill's "iron curtain" telegram had been sent to
President Truman four days after the German surrender, but
any effect the Prime Minister's words had on the President's
behavior was not noticeable.
American disillusionment continued to grow throughout
1946; but despite it demobilization continued, and there
still remained some hope for Russian cooperation. The meet-
ing of the Council of Foreign Ministers in Paris to formulate
the secondary peace treaties was another exercise In frustra-
tion, and a United Nations commission meeting to establish
means of international control of atomic energy failed when
the two major powers could not reach agreement. The Russian
policy of secretiveness throughout their zone of occupation
continued. In 19^7* the Truman Doctrine was proclaimed to
assist Greece and Turkey; a communist government was estab-
lished in Hungary; and later in the year Russia prevented any
possible direction of Marshall aid to the countries of Eastern
Europe. Through the last half of that year an awareness by
the people of the United States of the realignment of the
world political situation began to make itself evident in the
gradually increasing support by the public for the European
Recovery Program. The final blow came on February C5, 19^8,
when a coup in Czechoslovakia resulted in that country being
quickly pulled behind the iron curtain. The ERP was promptly
passed by Congress; the acceptance of the ccld war was complete.
It can be said that the cold war originated as a nat-
ural reaction to a wartime alliance once the uniting circum-
stances had been removed. It can also be said that the cold
war came about simply because the United States and Russia
found themselves alone as the two major powers in the world.
From the circumstances in which the two powers found themselves
at the end of the Second World V/ar, an eventual quarrel be-
tween them was almost inevitable; that it wc"ld take the form
it did v/as by no means certain at the time. The direction of
the quarrel into its eventual form was partly due to the
characteristics of the participants and partly due to a
conscious effort on the part of each.
Both major powers, at the end of the ^ar, were tightly
oriented toward their conflicting ideologies. The Soviet
Union and the United States each had a design for the future
which it believed would contain the answer to all the major
problems of the world. The Soviets voiced confidence in the
inevitable success of their system, and they expressed their
continued purpose of spreading the domination of their com-
munist system throughout the world. The United States v/anted
the international system sponsored by herself spread through-
out the world to promote the American values of freedom and
democracy. She considered her postwar role to be that of
first anions equals in the promotion and enforcement of this
Western value system, and she could not accept the unwilling-
ness of any other important nations to consent to this idea
upon which she had staked such hi^h hopes for the future.
The conflicting ideologies exerted considerable influence on
the outlook of each side toward the other and toward the world
as a whole; the Russians' full of native suspicion and Marx-
ist ideas of capitalist hostility, the Americans' more open,
idealistic, and containing a lar^e measure of innocence born
of Ion- isolation from European power politics. Cecil Crabb
captured the effect of this added element of international
disagreement when he wrote that the "injection of ideological
conflict into international affairs on a scale seldom exper-
ienced in recent history has intensified existing sources of
disagreement and made problems, which were already inordinately
difficult, well-nigh insoluble". 11
Both the United States and the Soviet Union had, at
the end of the war, a significant lack of knowledge of each
other. Both were inexperienced in the great power role, and
neither had maintained close involvement with the other or
Cecil V. Crabb, American Foreign Policy in the Nuclear
Ace (Evans ton: Row, Peterson, & Company, li?cC), p. 194.
with Europe prior to the war. In each country the impression
of the other was highly colored by wartime propaganda which
in the United States oversold the Soviet Union as an enduring
ally and in Russia belittled the role of the United States in
the Great Patriotic War. The United States had considered
Russian communism as evil until Russia suddenly became a war-
time ally. Russian leaders considered the United States as
a loose and lax country that was not to be taken too seriously
in international affairs. 12 To make knowledge of one another
even more difficult, each ideology had its own vocabulary
which consisted of the same words but with considerably dif-
ferent meanings not known to the other, so that each power
ran into obstacles even in the communication of its position
to the other.
Significant also was the very recent completion of a
highly destructive war, lessons of which had reinforced those
of the First World V/ar and which had been brought to an end
by the development of a weapon that would make future wars
even more destructive. Stalin, as well as the United States,
Mas aware of the value of the atomic bomb as an instrument
of warfare, and he did not want to become involved in a war
12 David J. Dallin, Soviet Foreign Policy After Stalin
(Philadelphia: J. P. Lippincott Co., 196l), pp. 4b-7.
with the United States until he had achieved parity in it. 1 ^
Even without the advent of the atomic bomb, Russia had absorbed,
in the Second Uorld War, losses sufficient to make any large
scale war a dubious prospect. The immediate Russian objective
was to lay hold of any territory that might be available, but
not to stretch her national resources any farther on adven-
tures that might arouse the ire of the world's only atomic
The end of the Second World War brought to the United
States an immediate desire to return to overdue domestic
affairs and to get the soldiers home. The physical security
of the country was assured by her possession of the atomic
bomb; the development of the United nations would assure the
security of the rest of the world. In the meantime, demobil-
ization would take place as rapidly as possible. Those who
sav; Russian policy as a threat to the interests of the United
States were unwilling to take the drastic steps necessary to
establish an American consensus in support of containment of
Russia. The task of winning one war had just been completed;
and, with their traditional slowness to depart from precon-
cieved 'notions, the people of the United States were unwilling
^Marshall d. Shulman, Stalin's Foreign Policy Reap -
praised (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1963), pp. 20-2.
and psychologically unready to go on with another. ™
The conflict between the United States and the Soviet
Union did have an immediate objective in the territory
occupied by each power at the end of the war. Russia had
historically been an expansionist power wherever opportunity
offered, and she considered the territory occupied by her
armies at the time the shooting stopped as a suitable reward
for her victorious struggle. It is possible that she would
have settled for less and accepted a unified, dearmed, and
neutral Germany that would signify a westward movement of the
line of buffer states that had been established between East
and West in Europe after the First World War. 1 ^ We never had
a chance to find out, for the immediate American concentration
was on the Polish rather than the German political situation
after the war.
The American lack of desire for territory as a result
of the war implied a strong enough position in the concert of
controlling powers that her Influence could be dominant wher-
ever necessary throughout the world. This position was not
Samuel P. Huntington, The Common Defense (New York:
Columbia University Press, I96I), pp. 33-40.
l-Sw. W. Rostow, The United States in the World Arena
(New York: Harper & Row, 19SO), p. WT.
based entirely upon military power, but also on the position
of the United States as moral and economic leader and on the
Tightness of the American principles upon which the new world
system was to be based. The position required the coopera-
tion of the other powers, and the United States expected that
it would be given, rhe position of the United States Included
on her part considerable tolerance for the interests of other
nations, but it was still one in which she would be dominant.
A propaganda offensive against the capitalist world
had been an integral part of Soviet policy since 1917* and
it had been discontinued only temporarily during the Second
World War. Even before the end of the war it had been returned
to full operation, this time directed primarily against the
United States. By the latter part of 19 z *7, it had become
sufficiently severe that it was the subject of diplomatic
notes between American Ambassador V/alter Bedell Smith and
Soviet Foreign Minister riolotov in which Ambassador Smith
compared it to the work of the Nazi machine at its worst.
What was considered by Ambassador Smith to be an "increasing
flood of half-truths, distortions of truth and utter false-
hoods" was defended by Molotov as the d£3ire of the Soviet
press to "elucidate broadly as possible the actual situation
and true facts of life in other countries, attaching special
significance to the strengthening of friendly relations
between peoples". flolotov then accused the American press
of anti-Russian propaganda . ±0
In addition to the propaganda attacks and the occu-
pation of Eastern Europe by the Russians, the United States
was, during this time, becoming concerned about what was
taking place in the areas of Soviet occupation. Tight Rus-
sian military and police control was maintained over Eastern
Europe; and the Soviet treatment of opposition groups or in-
dividuals was, to say the least, not carried on in a manner
to which the United States was accustomed. The dismantling
of industry in occupied countries and the enforcement of
changes in their economic and social and political systems
aroused in the VT st a concern for the interest of the people
of Eastern Europe as well as for the ways in which the inter-
est of the West would be directly affected by the continuance
of Russian expansion. When the expansion was pressed into
Czechoslovakia, the United States could maintain its position
of relative inactivity no longer; it was time for the
^Department of State Bulletin , October 12, 19^7,
formalization of the conflict. 1 ?
On the Russian side, the cold war was never formalized,
but by 1948 it had been in operation for some time. W. W.
Rostov/ dates its inception from the time the Politburo was
sure Stalingrad would hold — roughly from the be^inninG of
1943. At this time Moscow returned to the territorial pre-
occupations which were at the center of her diplomacy in the
period 1939-19^1* and the shift was manifest in the spirit
and tactics of Soviet behavior in many areas during the year
'A continuing characteristic of the cold war has
been its lack of absolutes on both sides. The fall of
Czechoslovakia is chosen as the instance of formalization
because it coincided closely with the resumption of the mili-
tary draft in the United States and because it was followed
by American policy speeches which expressed explicitly to the
people the idea of a conflict between the United States and
Russia. Earlier American action to combat communism can be
considered comparable to the actions taken immediately prior
to the declaration of hostilities in the Second World War
because they were either a result of specific instances, such
as the cancellation of advance reparations to Russia from
the Western zones of Germany, or were promulgated in policy
speeches which did not so clearly identify the assessor,
such as the reference to "armed minorities or outside pres-
sures" in the Truman Doctrine.
W. W. Rostow, The United States in the World Arena ,
p. 141. Another authority <&tes the time of the Russian be-
ginning of the cold war as March 1946. Ha Jo Holborn, The
Political Collapse of Europe , p. 189.
The American formalization of the East-West conflict
came about over a much longer period. Firm action in Iran
in 19^6, where American interests were directly threatened,
had results; *9 but this was an isolated Instance, American
policy toward Russian war reparations from the V/est zones of
Germany hardened considerably during the Immediate postwar
years, and American aid to Greece and Turkey helped to end
the threat of Russian expansion to the south in the spring of
1947. Secretary of State Marshall <5 speech in June 19^7 and
George Kennan's "Sources of Soviet Conduct" in Foreign Affairs
magazine the following month were strong indications of the
changing policy, but it took some time before their effect
was felt in the country as a whole. The completion of the
change in policy toward a Europe threatened by the Soviet
Union was officially promulgated by President Truman in his
Address to the Congress on March 17, 1948. In this speech
he said that "as long as Communism threatens the very exis-
tence of democracy, the United States must remain strong
enough to support the countries of Europe which are threatened
with Communist control and policastate rule", and that "the
time has come when free men and women of the world must face
19 Rostow, p. 184.
the threat to their liberty squarely and courageously".
Two days later, at the University of California, Secretary
Marshall made the position even more clear when he called
the conflict between the United States and Russia "a v/o rid-
wide strugsle between freedom and tyranny, between the self-
rule of the many as opposed to the dictatorship of the ruth-
less few". The battle had been joined, and now it would be
up to the United States and Russia to work out their rules
Department of State Bulletin, March 23, 1943,
2l Ibid., pp. 422-5.
THE LESSONS OF BERLIN
While the existence of the cold war was slowly being
recognized in the West, the Soviet Union was taking steps
in Berlin that were to lead to the first instance of direct
conflict with the United States. The blockade of Berlin and
the subsequent airlift provided several important steps in
the development of the pattern in which the East-West con-
flict was to be conducted, as well as a sign of the determin-
ation of the West to resist Soviet efforts to expand into
The City of Berlin provided a practically ideal sit-
uation in which the Soviets could apply pressure upon the
West. The Western enclave located almost in the center of
the Soviet zone of Germany placed the Allied occupation forces
in a situation of extreme vulnerability. The Russians had
good reason to apply all possible pressure, for the presence
of the Western powers in Berlin had prevented the incorpora-
tion of the city into the economy of East Germany. Pressure
upon the occupation forces of the Western Allies could, if
successful, brinj about either the elimination of the Western
enclave In Berlin or the inclusion of the Russians in a
four-power agreement for the whole of Germany based along
the lines of the Warsaw declaration of June 25, 1948. From
the viewpoint of the Soviet policy makers, the most fortunate
thing about the alternatives available to the West was that
acceptance of either could be expected to shortly bring about
the acceptance of the other.
The situation whereby the Russians were able to use
Berlin as a lever against the West came about as a result of
the early Western policy in Berlin in the days when the cold
war was a one-sided affair not yet acknowledged by the West.
The question of access to Berlin was never pressed very hard
by Allied commanders. General Clay reported that, at a
meeting on June 19, 194.5, with Marshall Zhukov of the Soviet
Union, he accepted an oral agreement providing for the use
of one main highway, one rail line, and two air corridors be-
tween Berlin and the west zones of Germany. General Clay
reserved the right to reopen the question later in the Allied
Control Council, but at the time he did not fully realize the
Bulletin , Soviet Embassy, Washington, D. C, July 14, 1943,
W. Phillips Davidson, The Berlin Blockade, (Princeton:
Princeton University Press, 195$), P. 26. This detailed and
well-documented study provided the raw material for much of
difficulties that would be involved. Colonel Howley, chief
of military government in the American sector of Berlin,
called the Western policy toward the Russians one of "doing
almost anything to win over the Russians, allay their sus-
picions, and convince them v/e were their friends. The final
agreement on air corridors, signed early in 19^6, was one in
which the Western Allies had a considerable amount of bar-
gaining power, and when it was signed it is quite possible
that the Soviets considered it as more advantageous to them
than to the West. 5
The events in the blockade and airlift themselves were
simple enough. The four-power government, from its inception
in July 19^5* had been the scene of decreasing cooperation
between the Western powers and the Soviet Union, and the
different policies pursued in each sector of occupation led
to a gradual splitting of the city. This split was in pro-
gress, but by no means complete, when in the spring of 19^8
-'General Lucius D. Clay, Decision in Germany , (New
York: Doubleday & Company, 1950), p. 26.
Frank Howley, Berlin Command , (New York: Put man,
1950), p. 56.
^Davidson, o£. cit ., pp. 35-6.
the Soviets began to progressively tighten travel and trans-
port restrictions between Berlin and the western zones of
Germany. The increasing restrictions on ground transport were
not seriously opposed by the West; but, following a mid-air
collision between a Soviet fighter aircraft and a British
transport in the air corridor to Berlin, the Allied powers
became extremely sensitive to Russian violations of the air
access agreement. A currency reform in West Germany took
place on June 18, and the Western commanders in Berlin made
overtures to the Soviet Military Governor with a view toward
a new currency policy for the city. On June 22, the Russian
commander announced an East German currency reform that was
to include the entire city of Berlin. The next day the Western
powers began to distribute West German currency in their sec-
tors, and on June 24 a complete land blockade of West Berlin
was announced by the Soviets. Two days later, on June 26,
an airlift v/as instituted by the Western powers to bring into
the city supplies needed by the people of 3erlin.
1 . NON-CONFRONTATION
The efforts of the four occupying powers to maintain
or to increase their control in Berlin were conducted, as
6 New York Times , April 6, 1943.
early as 1946, in a manner In which they would not become
directly involved in disputes with one another. This gener-
ally involved, on the part of the Soviets, efforts to exert
pressure through the people of Berlin and to obtain control
of the city government to which the Western powers had come
to grant a large measure of freedom and responsibility for
the administration of the city. Pressure was applied by the
Soviet occupation authorities and their local communist sup-
porters upon each of the democratic political parties in
Berlin, and this resulted eventually in splits between the
pro-Communist and anti-Communist factions in each party.'
The Russian authorities also applied various pressures upon
prominent individuals in the city government, the most flag-
rant case being the burgomaster crisis of April, 1947. Sim-
ilar methods involving cajolery, threats, occasional mob
action, and harassment of opposition were used to obtain con-
trol of or to force splits in the prominent nongovernmental
institutions of Berlin; and the use of these methods was
facilitated by the foresight the Russians had shown in moving
the headquarters of the important city organizations to the
east sector prior to the arrival of the V/estern occupation
C£, op. cit., pp. 104-8. 8 Ibid ., pp. 143-9.
During the tine prior to the blockade the policy of
the V/estera powers was one of accomodation and cooperation
as much as possible with the Soviet authorities. In the cases
of conflict between Soviet-supported elements and democratic
forces in the city government, the i/estern pov/ers officially
remained uninvolved and maintained that these were purely
affairs of the Germans. Privately, however, a number of
American and British officials save the democratic leaders
what help and encouragement they could. v During the months
immediately preceding the blockade, the Allied policy was to
sidestep rather than directly oppose Russian attempts to
tighten control. In March 19^8, the United States and Great
Britain cancelled military train service to the west rather
than comply with a Soviet directive; and for approximately
ten days they operated a small airlift capable of carrying
in 60 to 100 tons of supplies per day. 1 The one area in
which the Allied powers made no effort to avoid any confron-
tation in the pre-blockade period was in the case of the air
^Davidson, c£. cit ., pp. 5^-9.
10 Lowell Bennett, Berlin Bastion , (Frankfurt: rriedrich
Ruhl, 1951)* PP. 28-31. Lucius Clay, o£. cit ., p. 35l.
corridors, probably because this was something to which the
Soviets had signed an agreement ri^ht there in the Control
The currency reform of June 1948 provided a typical
example of the operating techniques and methods of the Soviets
and the Allies in any Berlin situation. The East Hark was
introduced by the Soviets as le~al tender for the entire city;
but , in spite of threats, they made no overt move to enforce
its acceptance in the west sectors. 3 - 1 The V/est I-Iark was in-
troduced in response to the Soviet action, and it was done as
an extension of the V/est German currency reform and with no
claims to validity outside the v/est sectors. The final reso-
lution of the currency reform — which currency would be accepted
where — was left to the Berlin Kaglstrat and Assembly, which
decided in favor of the West. The decision was followed by
riots in the area of city hall (east sector) in which several
assemblymen were beaten. The next day the complete land
blockade was imposed.
Once the blockade be^an, the Allied decision was a^ain
to sidestep rather than oppose it, although the methods in-
volved in sidestepping the land blockade offered no guarantee
Davidson , op. cit., p. 9^.
of success. The initial actions were to freeze in West Ber-
lin all food supplies scheduled for the Soviet zone; and
British authorities immediately suspended all deliveries of
coal and steel from the Ruhr to the Soviet zone of Germany. ^
After the airlift had been in operation for a few days,
President Truman in Washington made the decision that the
United States was coins to remain in Berlin; but at the time
he gave no indication how it was to be done. J The President's
reliance upon an uncertain airlift and his later refusal of
General Clay's suggestion that the blockade be challensed by
a three-power armored column was due to a concern with the
lesal rights of the United States in Berlin, the lack of any
written agreement concerning land access, and, Clay reports,
to an expressed intention to avoid a direct confrontation,
at least until the issue had been placed before the United
In the few areas where the West was willing to risk
a confrontation, the Soviets were not. Even before the air-
lift be^an, a Russian barrage balloon was seen flying in the
12 New York Times , June 25, 1?4S.
13 Walter Millis (ed.), The Forre
rhe Viking Press, 1951), pp. W-
^Clay, Decision in Germany , p. 37*^.
^Walter Millis (ed.), The Forrestal Diaries , (New
York: The Viking Press, 1951), PP. W-5.
Soviet zone, either near or in one of the air corridors. Af-
ter a British protest, the balloon was lowered. ^ During the
airlift, occasional harassment of the Allied transports took
place; and every so often there were Soviet protests against
alleged violations of air traffic regulations by the West.
No attempts were made, however, to physically disrupt the
operations of the airlift through such things as communications
Jamming, construction that could interfere with the landing
pattern, or the like.
Soviet pressure was applied to the instruments of the
city government whose headquarters were physically located in
East Berlin. This generally had the effect of forcing the
democratic elements to set up new headquarters in the west
sectors. The city police department was split on July 26,
and the movement of the Magistrat to the west completed the
split of the city government on November 30. ** These actions
ivere followed by Soviet protests and allegations as to the
illegality of the separate governmental structure in the west
sectors, but these protests were never followed by attempts
to actually change the situation. During the entire period
*5jfew York Times , June 25, 1948.
l6 Davidson, The Berlin Blockade , pp. 171-4, 209-19.
of the blockade there v/ere kidnappings and arrests of people
in the west sectors by Soviet occupation authorities or East
-Berlin police; but these were hit-and-run affairs, and the
Soviet military governor never admitted responsibility for
them. It must be noted, however, that physical action was
never taken against the more prominent anti-Soviet officials,
a^ain probably due to Soviet desire to keep Allied indigna-
tion within reasonable limits. *7
2. DELIBERATE1IE33 OF ACTION
A second characteristic of the Berlin blockade and
airlift having applicability for the cold war as a whole was
a certain delibcrateness of action by the major powers in-
volved. The pattern of challenge and response was such as
to sive the impression that each power was trying to avoid
startling the other by any too-rapid change Ip.the state of
The first example of delibcrateness of action is the
Cradualness with which the Soviets established the blockade.
The "creeping blockade" had begun as early as January with
the tiehtenins of regulations governing German passengers on
Davidson, o£. cit ., p. 1^3.
interzonal trains. 1 " In March the Russians attempted to es-
tablish their right to check barrage and passengers on mili-
tary' trains running through East Germany, and rather than
accept this the Allies cancelled their military train service
altogether. ^ The "baby airlift" was instituted at this time,
and it operated until the restrictions were removed.
New restrictions followed shortly, and almost every
day during Hay and June the Berlin press reported new restraints
on the movement of goods and persons to and from the city. 20
Frequently, the restrictions were attributed to "technical
reasons". The actions immediately preceding the blockade were
as follows: June 15, the Soviet withdrawal from the Kommanda-
tura; June 18, the prohibition by the Soviets of all vehicu-
lar and passenger train traffic between the Soviet zone of
Germany and the west, and the imposition of strict inspection
on all freight traffic moving by rail or canal; June 21, the
Soviet currency reform; June 23, the 'Jestern currency reform
1 Notes on the Blockade of Berlin , issued by the Control
Commission for Germany (British Element), February, 19^9.
Clay, o£. cit., pp. 358-9; Bennett, Bastion Berlin ,
20 Davidson, p. 65.
in Berlin; and June 24, the ending of freight traffic be-
tween Berlin and the West. Even this did not completely
seal off the city, for throughout the summer food was ire-
quently smuggled into Berlin from both the west and the So-
viet zones of Germany. 2 * 2Iew restrictions on travel between
V/est Berlin and the east sector and neighboring areas of
East Germany closed this hole in October and November. A
food program operated by the Swedish Red Cross was terminated
in December, and the International Red Cross, the last im-
porters of food by means other than airlift, was forced to
cease feeding operations in January. 22
The Soviets attempted to conduct a similar campaign
against air traffic to Berlin, but here Western resistance
was encountered from the very beginning. Since all necessary
facilities for air operations were in the hands of the Western
occupation forces, no progress whatsoever was made by the
The Allied actions followed a similarly deliberate
pattern. The currency reform was instituted for West Ger-
many on June 10; but it was not applied to V/est Berlin until
Notes on the Blockade of Berlin , p. 14; Howley,
! Davidson, o£. c_it.,pp. 127-0. 2 ^ Ibid ., p. 199.
June 23, and then after Russian provocation. The blockade
was instituted on June 24, the decision to start the airlift
was made the following day, and on the next day the first
supplies arrived in Berlin. Even this much swiftness of ac-
tion, which cave the impression of deliberateness rather than
indecision, was due to the efforts of General Clay, for at
that time neither the controlling authorities in Washington
nor Moscow placed much confidence in the ability of an air-
lift to supply Berlin. 2 ^
The counter-blockade be^an, in a small way, on the
same day as the blockade, when for "technical reasons" the
British suspended coal and steel shipments from the Ruhr to
the Soviet zone.* The next day, further restrictions on
trade with the Soviets were announced by the U. S. -British
Bipartite Economic Commission. 2 " In July, the Allied author-
ities stopped rail traffic across the bizonal area between
the Soviet zone and the non-German countries, a^ain due to
"technical difficulties". 2 ? In September, American authorities
^Davidson, op. £it., pp. 109, 148.
25 IIcw_York Times , June 25, 1943.
25 Ibid., June 26, 1940.
27 Ibid., July 27, 1943.
be^an to enforce more stringently regulations concerning
smu££lin^ from the American to the Russian zones of Berlin,
but the other «e stern allies did not folio:: the American ex-
ample. 28 It was not until the beginning of 194° that the
Western counter-blockade tras fully implemented. 2 ^
3. TERRITORIAL LIMITATION OF CONFLICT
In a consideration of efforts to limit the area af-
fected by the 3erlin conflict and events directly resulting
fron that conflict, the concept of limitation of conflict
must be viewed in tv/o aspects. The first of these is the
effect of the Ijerlin confrontation on the overall east-west
relationship. This has to be regarded as inconclusive, for
the Berlin situation was a symptom and not a cause of the
generally bad relations between the United States and Russia.
Instances of cooperation between the tv/o powers were rare
during the tine period between the Czechoslovak coup and
the endins of the war in Korea, but this cannot be blamed on
the blockade of Berlin.
More noticeable an aspect of limitation of conflict is
28 Times . o£. cit., October 22, 1948.
2 %owley, Berlin Command , p. 2^4.
the lack of direct interference by either power in territory
for which the other had a legal basis of control. It was
almost a case of whoever arrived first and laid claim to
something would not have his claim directly challenged. In
this aspect it can be considered that the highways and rail-
roads running across East Germany were Soviet territory; but
the air corridors, for which an agreement had been signed, be-
longed to the West.
The borders between the east and west sectors of Ber-
lin were generally respected. In the early days of Allied
occupation, arrangements had been made whereby each occupying
power had authority over the police in his sector^O and could
control the removal of objectionable borough officials in
his sector. 3 1 During the time of the blockade, these arrange-
ments were upheld.
There are no reported instances of Western interference
in affairs in the east sector of Berlin. It is entirely pos-
sible that none occurred, because of the Western hands-off
policy toward the affairs of the Berlin city government.
This policy led to non-interference by the West even during
J Office of rniitary Government, U. S. Sector, Berlin,
Berlin Sector : A Four- Year Report , July 1, 1945 - -3eptenbcr 1 ,
19^9, P. 53.
Kowley, op_, cit ., p. 25^.
major events such as the city hall riots of June 23, 19^8, 3 2
and the demonstrations against the city assembly on September
6, in which it was apparent that the east sector police were
making no effort to give protection to pro-west individuals.-^
Direct Russian interference in affairs in West Berlin
and in the air corridors was the exception rather than the
rule of operations during the blockade period. The Soviets
made repeated threats and protests over the Allied use of the
air corridors and occasionally they conducted flights in or
near them, but no serious physical action was taken to hamper
airlift operations. Counter-pressure to these threats was
applied by the Allies in the buildup of American combat air-
power in Europe.
Russian activity in West Berlin, once conditions be-
came stabilized after the early days of four-power occupation,
was also limited. For some months after the Western troops
had entered the city in 19^5j the personnel of the Red Army
had continued the disorderly behavior that had been charac-
teristic of the months of sole Russian occupation; but this
ended in the face of Western threats to stop it by force if
3 2 Davidson, o£. cit ., pp. -95-
3 3 Ibid ., pp. 185-7.
necessary. 34 Through the entire period of the blockade,
there were frequent press reports of kidnappings and beatings
of persons in the './est sectors by communist police and Soviet
military personnel. Several would-be kidnappers '//ere caught
by Western authorities, and they were always found to be
members of the Soviet sector or Soviet zone police agencies. 35
As late as April 19^9> Soviet troops attempted to occupy the
locks in certain waterways in the British sector but were
prevented by the arrival of British troops; and on the last
day of the month, a raid was carried on by East sector police
on a farm house in the British sector. 36 There is no record
of raiders of this type ever being pursued beyond the borders
into the east sector.
From the preceding paragraphs it can be seen that any
development of respect for the territory controlled by the
cold war opponent had, at least on the Russian side, a long
way to go before it could be considered a rule of cold war
operation. Although there were no attempts to enforce Rus-
sian ordnances within the west sectors, there was conducted
against the people and authorities of V.'est Eerlin a level of
S^Howley, o£. cit ., pp. 65-74.
•^ Berlin Sector , p. 66,
3 °Davidson, p. 258.
violence near to that of guerrilla warfare whenever the
Soviets thought the;' could get away with it. The Western
lack of interference in the east sector, even in the cases
of the major riots, were part of what W. Phillips Davidson
terr.13 as the Western tendency to interpret the Berlin situ-
ation in terms of lav; rather than power, 37 a tendency very
common among those who do not consider themselves as having
the power to interpret a situation otherwise. After the
first few weeks of blockade, the Soviet consolidation of
their position in East 3erlin and their control of the every-
day life in the sector were much more stringent than that
exercised in the west sectors, so that East Berlin would
have been a much more difficult target for hit-and-run
operations even if any had been contemplated.
4. COLD WAR NEGOTIATION
Negotiations to reach a settlement of the Berlin prob-
lem were begun in Moscow on July 30, at the instigation of
the Allies. After a month of generally unsatisfactory con-
ferences between the three Western ambassadors and Stalin
and Kolotov, agreement was reached on a directive to be sent
37Davidson, o£. clt ., p. 151.
to the four military governors. The directive provided for
a removal of the blockade in exchange for the introduction
of the East Mark as the sole currency for Berlin, with a
vaguely worded provision for joint currency control by the
military governors. Details of the implementation of the
agreement were left to the military governors.
Historically a willingness to negotiate has implied
a desire to reach some agreement on the subject under dis-
cussion. As far as the cold war is concerned,, this implica-
tion cannot be considered valid. From the Soviet viewpoint,
willingness to negotiate, especially when the negotiation is
proposed by someone other than themselves, means a willing-
ness to discuss and not necessarily anything more. In Mos-
cow this lesson was expensively impressed upon the Western
representatives. Walter Bedell Smith, the American ambassa-
dor to Russia and spokesman for the Western delegation, re-
ports in his book that the idea of reaching an agreement was
vital to the West as a barometer of Soviet sincerity; and that
in order to get an agreement the Western representatives were
willing to accept one that left many questions still open. 3"
Other comments concerning the Moscow directive, particularly
3n/altcr Bedell Smith, Hv_ Three Years in woscow , (New
York: J. B. Lippincott, 1950_. p. 251.
those made by Americans wor!cing in the military governments
of Germany and Berlin, were not so charitable.
The Soviet style of negotiation with the Uest was no-
thing new, and it would be repeated many times during the
course of the cold war. The style basically consisted in
the application of pressure of some kind in order to gain a
concession, then negotiating to determine how much of that
pressure would be removed after the concession had been gained.
In Berlin the pressure of blockade had been applied in order
to bring about either the postponement of the formation of a
Y/est German government or an Allied withdrawal from Berlin;
the tloscov/ negotiators offerred to remove part of the pres-
sure in exchange for measures that would result in loss of
Allied control of happenings in the city.
The technical discussions among the four military
governors for the implementation of the Moscow directive were
unsuccessful. Here each side took a harder line than had
been taken in Iioscow.39 The failure to reach agreement can
be explained by the real and imagined power relationships
between the two antagonists. The Russians still thought that
they could achieve their goals without making any concessions.^
"^Clay, Decision in Germany , p. 371.
^°Davidson, The Berlin Blockade , p. lpl.
The Western representatives, in Berlin if not in the Allied
capitals, uere by this time (early September, 19^3) begin-
ning to believe in the capability of the airlift to improve
the Western bargaining position with the passage of time so
that any concession made at this early date would be un-
An exchange of notes and sporadic negotiation attempts
in the United Nations Security Council occupied, unproduc-
tivel: r , the remainder of the year. The ending of the blockade,
when it did come, came about quickly, quietly, and easily.
By the spring of 19^9, the Russians realized that the block-
ade had failed and was now becoming a detriment to their suc-
cess in other areas, such as the peace offensive that had be-
gun in January. 2 Once the power positions of the Berlin
opponents had become approximately equal — the continuing block-
ade and Russian consolidation in the east sector being bal-
anced by the counterblockade and a firm democracy supported
by the successful airlift in the west — their political objec-
tives could come into coincidence. The negotiations between
Phillip Jessup of the United States and Jacob Malik of the
Davidson, o£. c.^t ., pp. 183-4.
Marshall D. Shulman, Stalin's Foreign Policy Re-
appraised, (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 19^377
Soviet Union were conducted in secrecy and in an atmosphere
totally unlike that of the earlier negotiations; that they
would be successful was apparent almost from their beginning. 3
It is significant also that the first indication of Russian
willingness to reach a negotiated solution to the Berlin
problem came in an interview granted by Stalin to a Western
correspondent rather than through any diplomatic method. f *
5. THE TECHNIQUES
3Tie Berlin situation was one in which the positions
of both Russia and the West were dependent upon the attitudes
of the people of West Berlin. If they could be made to want
the V/estern Allies to leave the city, the Allies would be
forced to go. Even if the people became discouraged enough
that they succumbed to the enticements offered them by the
Soviets in the east sector, the position of the Allies would
have become untenable. Efforts to persuade the West Berliners
to accept Soviet rather than four-power control brought about
the use of methods of warfare that were new in that here they
were used alone rather than as adjuncts to military power.
^Department of State Bulletin , May 8, 1949, P. 591.
^Davidson, op. cit ., p. 254.
In Berlin, propaganda and promises of material assistance
were used on a large scale, and pressure placed upon the West
Berliners was expected to be transmitted to the Allied occu-
Propaganda . The press and radio on both sides of di-
vided Berlin were used to bolster or erode the morale of the
West Berliners, depending upon the source. The Soviet-
controlled press in East Berlin spread rumors of imminent
Allied withdrawal^ anc j repeatedly expressed belief that the
airlift could not succeed in supplying Berlin. ^ Also promul-
gated were what have become the standard Communist denunci-
ations of the West: "facist warmongers, reactionaries, im-
perialists", and the like.
Davidson reports that the vigorous communist propaganda
effort in connection with Berlin was almost entirely ineffec-
tive. ' This was due to two reasons. First, the facts of
Berlin life were too available to the West Berliners; they
could see for themselves; and any propaganda not conforming
to the reality at hand would be immediately dismissed. Sec-
ondly, the Berliners had become highly critical of any
Davidson, o£. cit ., pp. 63-4.
4 6 Ibid ., pp. 163- 2 U
47 Ibid., p. 377.
propaganda after their long exposure to it as promulgated
by the Nazis, the Soviets, and The West.
Allied propaganda in Berlin was less ambitious in its
purpose. Its objectives were merely to reassure the people
that the Allied occupation forces were planning to remain
and that their ordeal was being closely observed by the out-
side world. Since Berliners could see the airlift in oper-
ation, and since important visitors frequently came to 3erlin,
it was generally successful.
Aid. Aid, either the delivery or promise of food and
supplies from outside, was a more important lever than propa-
ganda throughout the blockade period. If the Western Allies
had not been able to supply the city by air, there would have
been no question of their withdrawal from Berlin unless they
were willing to fight for it. The counterblockadc provided
some leverage for exerting pressure upon the Russians by
depriving them of sorely needed materials from the non-
While the blockade was in effect, the Soviets used
offers of relief to try to influence actions of the people
of West Berlin. One of their levers was the issuance to
workers of a free warm noonday meal that could be withdrawn
if the political action of the workers wa3 not in accord with
Soviet desires. ° At one time during the blockade, the
Russians attempted to win the allegiance of the West Berliners
by offering to provide food in the east sector for all citi-
zens of the city. 9 This offer was supplemented shortly af-
terward by Soviet offers of work to. all Berliners unemployed
because of the blockade. 5° When it is considered that during
this time the West Berliners were subjected to stringent food
rationing and that there was high unemployment due to lack
of raw materials, it is a tribute to their resistance that
these offers were not accepted by more than a very small per-
centage of the population.
The use of intermediaries . The final characteristic
of the Berlin blockade in its implications for the future was
the use of indirect pressure, applied by or through inter-
mediaries, instead of pressure applied directly by one power
to another. Along this line, the Russians showed an early
preference for mob action as an arm of policy; " and they
also made frequent use of the East Berlin police for acts of
Davidson, o£. cit ., p. 98.
** 9 USSR Information Bulletin , August 11, 1943, p. 459.
5 °Howley, Berlin Command , p. 245.
Davidson, The Berlin Blockade , pp. 181-2, 192.
violence against citizens of West Berlin. The blockade itself
was a large-scale attempt to make the hardships imposed upon
the people of West Berlin bring about the departure of the
Western occupation forces in order to have them alleviated.
Only during periods of negotiation v/as direct pressure brought
to bear upon the Allies, and then it v/as only psychological.
When action that could be considered as offensive em-
anated from the west sectors of Berlin, it v/as generally
caused by the V/est Berliners themselves rather than the occu-
pation forces. In most cases of this nature, such as the
splitting of the branches of the city government, the mass
meetings, and the establishment of the Free University, the
Berliners were acting on their own behalf and not as instru-
ments of Allied policy. Yet, if the Allies had a policy of
open resistance to the Russians and if they had chosen to
implement it through the use of the Berliners, this is a
logical way in which it could have been done. On one occasion
when the West Berlin police were ordered to crack down on
smugglers who were removing goods from the American sector,
they acted eagerly to carry out the American policy. ^ 2 It
is also noticeable that pressures applied in areas not directly
5 %ew York Times , September 27 , 19^8.
related to the blockade, such as the Marshall Plan and NATO,
were instrumental in its ending."
6. THE LESSONS
From the Berlin blockade and airlift and the events
connected to them can be determined through hindsight the
early development of a pattern in which the cold war would be
conducted. Both major antagonists in Berlin made obvious
efforts to avoid direct confrontation between them, but they
still applied pressure and counter-pressure to try to gain
their objectives. The restraint used by each side was due
in part to the position of Berlin as an important but not
vital interest to either, one not worth risking war over,
at least until all other means of solution had been exhausted.
In Berlin the Allies chose to reply to the blockade, which
in past situations could have been considered as an act of
war, by using non-violent means that offered no guarantees
of success; and the Russians, knowingly or otherwise, did
not back the West into such a position that their only re-
course would be to military action.
The deliberateness of action, followed intentionally
^Davidson, o£, cit ., p. 251.
or otherwise by both sides, helped to reduce the possibility
of an inadvertent outbreak of war over Berlin, as did the
maintenance of diplomatic contact between the opposing powers
at all times during the crises. There was tacit acceptance
by each power of the unchallengeability of the other by di-
rect military means in the territory under his control, but
indirect challenges by the Russians were frequent. In gen-
eral, more respect was shown for the territory of the oppon-
ent than if the powers had been at war, but less than if
they had been really at peace.
The pattern of action in Berlin developed partly in
accord with the intentions of the actors, partly accidentally
or even contrary to their intentions. Regardless of the rea-
sons, its development was accepted, and neither power tried
to change it. This pattern provided a set of precedents which,
by virtue of having been used before without arousing exces-
sive objection by the opponent, were available to be followed
again whenever convenient. Some of the precedents were ex-
tremely indistinct in their form; there would later be added
the details and embellishments to expand the precedents in-
to a system of conflict.
THE DEVELOPING SYSTEM
1. KOREA AMD LIMITED WAR
The Korean War provided the first large-scale shooting
confrontation between forces of the United States and forces
supported by the Soviet Union. Here again each side tried,
this time with greater success than in Berlin, to conduct
their conflict through intermediaries. The United States
took advantage of a Russian boycott of the United Nations
Security Council to successfully introduce resolutions calling
for, on June 25, 1950, an immediate cease-fire and withdrawal
of North Korean forces and requesting, on June 27, all UN
members to give such assistance as may be necessary to the
Republic of Korea. The United Nations established a unified
military command, under the leadership of the United States,
to resist the North Korean invasion; and the command was di-
rected to report to the Security Council whenever it deemed
A word is necessary here to place in their proper per-
spective the roles played in the Korean War by the United
^Allen S. Whiting, China Crosses the Yalu , (New York:
The MacKillan Company, 19o0), pp. 47-3.
States and Russia. First, the United States played, from
the be^inninc, a leading role in Korea because it was the
only Western power with immediate interests in the country;
and it had acquired these as a result of the power vacuum
created by the Japanese defeat in the Second World V.'ar. Sec-
ondly, the United States was the only lie stern power with mil-
itary forces in position where they could be, and were, moved
quickly to ICcrea. The call to the Security Council was made
to acquire U1J backing for the protection of interests the
United States was maintaining for what it considered the
benefit of the non-communist world as a whole and from which
the country had or would receive no significant advantages.
?inally, the United Nations had no military forces of its own
to carry on any resistance, so a unified command had to be
established under one nation. Considering the ability of
various nations to contribute to this force, the United States
was the locical choice for command.
Russian participation in the Korean War was not so
direct. Although Russian equipment was present in great quan-
tity, only the armies of North Korea and the Chinese People's
Republic were utilized. There is even a certain doubt con-
cerning the extent of Russian control of the Communist effort
in Korea." Most earlier works on the subject credit Russia
with instigating and controlling the conflict, with the
Chinese army merely being used to carry out the policies of
Moscow* Recently, however, a new school of thought has em-
phasized Chinese rather than Russian Initiation of the con-
flict. The one thing reasonably certain about the Russian
involvement is that the' plans for the war were discussed at
the IIoscow meeting between Stalin and Hao Tse-tung in Decem-
Regardless of the degree or reason for involvement, it
is clear that the United Nations* forces were acting in accord
with policies of the United States and the Communist forces
were acting in accord with policies of Russia. With these
facts in mind, the Korean War had been considered by historians
in various ways: as the success of collective security in
resistance to aggression, as a sign of the determination of
the West to resist Communist expansion, and as the instance
that caused further Russian attempts to extend their influence
to be made through economic warfare, propaganda, and subver- .
sion. As its contribution to the development of the cold war
system of conflict, the Korean War Introduced the first in-
stance of limited war between the Western and Communist worlds.
The position of Russian responsibility for the Korean
War is taken by Allen S. Whiting, China Crosses the Yalu , p.
45; and David J. Dallin, Soviet Foreign Policy Since Stalin,
With the idea of limited war came the principle of sanctuary
for the opposing forces in areas other than that of direct
The amount of concern expressed since the Korean War
about the escalation of limited wars into major ones has
shown the flimsiness of limited war as a principle. W. If.
Rostow, writing about the Korean War, mentioned an implicit
set of rules for conducting hostilities. He said that when
a truce line was crossed, the aggrieved party could counter-
attack by any means aval lable within his own boundaries and
it would not be taken by the initiator as justification for
enlarging the area of hostilities or for launching major war.
He said that the maintenance of the truce line, and the im-
plicit rules governing action on either side of it, have
been the basis on which major war has been prevented since
the Second World War. In Korea, the development of this
implicit set of rules did not come about in a manner calculated
(Philadelphia: Lippincott, i960), p. 60. Increased stress
is given to Chincese influence in the origination of the war
in Marshall D. Shulnan, Stalin's Foreign Policy Reappraised ,
(Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1963) .
W. W. Rostow, The United States in the World Arena ,
(New York: Harper & Row, i960), pp. 244-5.
to inspire confidence for future action. In fact, evidence
points to the contrary. In an examination of the development
of these rules, the Korean truce line has to be viewed more
closely in four instances: the crossing of the 38th parallel
by the forces of the United Nations, the failure to bomb
north of the Yalu River, the Chinese intervention and counter-
offensive of the spring of 1951 > and the war at sea and be-
hind the ON lines.
Crossing the parallel . The United Nations 1 resolutions
passed immediately after the invasion by the North Koreans
provided means to "repel the armed attack and to restore in-
ternational peace and security in the area", with no apparent
intention to extend the ground war into North Korea. Between
this time and the time when the UN General Assembly resolu-
tion on October 7, 1950, endorsed "all appropriate steps to
ensure conditions of stability throughout Korea", 5 there can
be seen the ease with which the objectives of a war can be
expanded as the initial ones are achieved.
Between August 7 and 11 the North Korean advance was
stopped short of its goal of ejecting the UN forces from
^United Nations Bulletin , Vol. IX No. 2; July 15,
^United Nations Bulletin , Vol. IX No. 9; November 1,
1950; p. ^9. "
Korea, and the UN forces within the Pusan perimeter began
to rapidly increase their strength. At this tine, the be-
havior of Jacob Malik, now back in the Russian seat on the
Security Council, suggested a willingness to compromise on
his earlier terms for ending the war. In the United States,
however, success brought a hardening line. On August 17,
American Ambassador to the United Nations Warren Austin ex-
pressed his government's desire to have the UN forces liber-
ate all of Korea from the Communists. 7 Within the next sev-
eral days a more aggressive stance was taken by several prom-
inent military leaders, and repudiation of this new stand by
President Truman led to the resignation of Secretary of De-
fense Louis Johnson in favor of someone considered more mod-
erate in his approach.
As early as September 19, Sygman Bhee of South Korea
had announced his intention to pursue North Korean troops
across the 33th parallel of latitude, regardless of UN inten-
tions. On October 1, the day Rhee's intention was carried
Whiting, eg. cTt., pp. 74-6.
' United Nations , Security Council , Official Records ,
Fifth Year, 483th meeting, Aug. 17, 1950, No. 30.
^Whiting, o£. cit., p. 96.
out, General MacArthur publicly ordered North Korea to sur-
render." MacArthur's proposal to move UN forces northward
across the 3^th parallel had been backed by Washington and
London even before the action by the Korean troops; 10 and
when his order was carried out on October 7, it was endorsed
the same day by the Unit ed Nations General Assembly.
The decision to move the ground war into North Korea
can be seen as a conscious expansion of the war, brought on
by success in attaining the earlier objectives and the desire
to remove the conditions that enabled the war to be started
in the first place. The possible retaliatory expansion of
the war by the Communists was considered, and warnings were
made by Washington against Chinese intervention. Announce-
ments from Peking that China would enter the war were in
general taken lightly, and there are conflicting opinions
even now as to whether or not that country would have entered
• ^Hea rings Before the Cora-nit tee on Armed Services and
the Committee on Foreign Relations , United States Senate,
82nd Congress, ""[Washington, 1951), P. 3^82.
1 David Rees, Korea ; The Limited War , (New York: St.
Martin's Press, 1964) 9 pp. 100-4. John W. Spanier, The
Truman - Mac Arthur Controversy and the Korean War , (Cambridge:
Bellcnap Press, 1959), PP. 95, 101-2.
n Whiting, pp. 97-S.
in force if the U27 advance had stopped at the waist of Korea
and not gone on toward the Yalu.
Sanctuary beyond the Yalu . The decision not to cross
the Yalu River by aircraft was made against the recommendation
of the United Nations' commander in the field, and Great
Britain and France exercised some influence on the decision
of President Truman. 2 Nevertheless, the Yalu was crossed
on occasion. On August 27, 1950, the Communist Chinese ac-
cused aircraft of the United States of having machine-gunned
some Chinese facilities in Manchuria. Allen Milting reports
in his RAND study that v/ithin a few days American authorities
conceded the possibility of a "mistake" and offered compensa-
tion, provided appropriate inspection of the alleged damage
could be made. 1 ^ Also reported is an attack by two U.S. jets
on a Soviet air base in Siberia. After the Chinese inter-
vention in the war, it became American policy to bomb the
Korean side of the Yalu bridges, increasing the risk of acci-
dental overflight but at the same time showing willingness
to add to the hazards of these missions by refusing to order
Recs, Korea: The Limited War , pp. 130-1.
13 Whiting, 0£. cit., p. 97.
1 Spanicr, 0£. cit ., p. 111.
attacks on the air defense emplacements on the Chinese side
of the river. *5
General MacArthur continually advocated the extension
of the air warjnto China. His pressure on President Truran
was somewhat balanced, however, by the' contrary recommenda-
tions of Secretary of State Acheson and the representatives
of the Allies in Washington. Although the policy of bombing
north of the Yalu never came into being, it is significant
that it was considered; and the expressed reason for not ex-
tending the war wa3 avoidance of further pressure on the
Soviet Union to enter.
The role of China . The Chinese intervention in Octo-
ber 1950 was another conscious expansion of the war. In
August and September a massive redeployment of the Chinese
army had positioned many of its best troops in Ilanchuria.
It secr.13 now that the final decision to intervene was depend-
ent, as wa3 advertised at the time by Chou En-lai, upon the
crossing of the 38th parallel by the American forces, although
this decision could have been reversed later if the UN ad-
vance had not gone as far north as it did. ' It is entirely
15 V/hiting, 02. clt .j pp. 138-9.
1 Spanier, op., cit., pp. 248-9. 17 '/hitirig, p. 103.
possible that the movement of the United States Seventh Fleet
into the Formosa Straits in June 1950 had prevented a Chinese
move in that direction while the majority of the American
forces ucre tied up in Korea, for there were previous indi-
cations that such an invasion was imminent. - Lu
The Chinese intervention v/as carried out with the same
.deliberateness of action as was characteristic of the cold
war operations in 3erlin. The initial Chinese penetration
into Korea was made in the middle of October; and the first
contacts were made with HOK forces on October 26 and American
forces on November 2. Then, on November 7, the Chinese "vol-
unteers" broke off action, and things were quiet on the front
until the counterattack on November 26, in response to
MacArthur's "end the war" offensive. " Whiting lists several
possible reasons for the November lull, and amon^ them is a
Chinese desire to observe and evaluate the UN response to
their entry and any immediate effects of this entry on further
expansion of the war.
Once the Chinese intervention had been brought about
successfully, it ac;ain became easy for one side to expand the
WhitinCj China Crosses the Yalu , p. 49.
1 9 Ibid ., pp. 116-7. 2° Ibid., p. 132.
war objectives. The Chinese offensive in the spring of 1951
could by no means be called limited and v;as best described by
Admiral Struble as "a major war confined to a small area".
This confinement seems almost entirely to have been due to
Chinese inability to extend the war territorially any more
than they did, particularly in View of the American commit-
ment to defend Taiwan. The Chinese advance down the Korean
peninsula had as its objective the renoval of the UI! forces
from Korea, and no special recognition was given to the pre-
war truce line when it was crossed.
Non-extensions . Some veterans of the Korean T .7ar speak
of an agreement whereby, in return for the failure of the
United States 1 aircraft to bomb targets in I.anchuria or to
pursue Communist aircraft beyond the Yalu River, the Communists
would not attack the United nations 1 fleet offshore or con-
duct air strikes against targets behind the W lines in South
Korea. There was no such agreement, although it seems as
though this limitation was intended by both sides and that a
tacit understanding did develop over a period of time. Gen-
eral Vandenbergj Chief of Staff of the United States Air
Force, said in a speech that any Russian limitation was out
of fear of retaliation rather than respect for any international
proprieties. Whatever the reasons, there were indications
of positive efforts by the Soviets, if not their Asian allies,
to limit these areas of conflict.
One indicator of Russian limitation of the conflict
was in the composition of the air force supplied to China by
the Soviet Union. The MIG-15, like the F-36 flown by the
American pilots, was a high-altitude interceptor; and the
Chinese air force did not contain any modern aircraft suitable
for operations against ground targets. 22 Any air attacks on
targets behind the UN lines or at sea could have been carried
out only by strike aircraft delivered by Russia specifically
for that purpose, and an act of this nature would open the
possibility of immediate nuclear retaliation. Any attacks
behind UN lines, even in South Korea, were carried on by
Communist guerrillas, probably more cheaply and more effec-
tively than they could have been done by air.
After the destruction of the North Korean PT boat force
early in the war, a fairly intensive mining campaign was the
only Communist effort made against UN ships operating in Korean
waters. Even here the restraining influence of Russia was
Address by General Iloyt Vandenberg to the California
State Chamber of Commerce, November 29, 1951; quoted in U.S.
News and Uorld Report , December 1^, 1951.
22 Vandenberg, loc. cit .
evident in the nines supplied to the North Koreans. The
mines were of an obsolescent type; and, had mines of more
advanced design been used, they would have been considerably
nore costly to combat. 3
The Korean truce talks which be^an in June 1951 were
the result, as in Berlin, of secret conversations between
Soviet UN Delegate Jacob Malik and representatives of the
Western powers in Hew York. By this time both sides were
willing to settle for a peace without victory. For the first
tine in the war both sides had the identical political-mili-
tary objective of an armistice based on the continued parti-
tion of Korea. 2 ^ The Soviets Imew that the forces they were
supporting could not win; the United States considered the
cost of victory to be higher than the country was willing to
The opening of the truce talks and the decision of
the United Nations not to continue the advance up the Korean
peninsula served the Soviet purposes as well as a cease-fire
would have. The talks themselves cave further indications of
the Communist negotiating style previously demonstrated in
Berlin, and they showed a^ain that the act of nesotiatins
c ~\Jame3 A. Field, History of United States Naval Oper -
ations — Korea , (Washington: U. S. Government Printing Office,
19557; p. 372.
Ree3, Korea : The Limited V/ar , p. 3-5.
can be an end in itself and is not necessarily indicative of
desire to reach agreement . ^5 The talks dragged on for two
years, with no apparent Communist desire for agreement so
lon^ as they were not losing territory. David Hees reports
that the truce agreement was finally signed due, secondarily,
to the death of Stalin, but primarily to American threats to
expand the war, by atomic weapons if necessary, into China.
The example of the Korean War, which has not been re-
peated, but which bears certain similarities to the developing
Vict Nam situation, shows the weaknesses of limited war as a
part of the cold war system of conflict. The war in Korea
was limited only when the limiting power considered it in hi3
interest to do so in each particular situation, when his po-
tential gains were either unlikely to bo realized through
escalation of the war or would not be worth the increased
cost of such escalation. In limited war, Korea showed that
it is easy for the winner to increase his objectives once he
has achieved his initial ones, and that the losing side must
A detailed analysis of the Communist negotiating
style demonstrated in Korea is presented in the book by the
Senior Delegate representing the United Nations at the Korean
Armistice Conference; C. Turner Joy, How Communists negotiate ,
(New York; The Macmillan Company* 1955) .
2o Rces, oj>. £it., pp. 402-420.
resort to more and more drastic measures If he wants to win
or even stabilize a war coins against him. 'The Korean oppon-
ents were unwilling to settle for less than victory until
each had had a chance to attain it and failed because his
enemy poured more reserves Into the contest. In the nuclear
balance of terror situation, escalation would be even more
dangerous for both sides than it would have been in Korea.
Both sides have since remained aware of this dancer, and
their awareness has helped to direct their conduct of the cold
war away from such situations since then.
2. COVERT POWER PROJECTION
While the limited but still hot war was taking place
on the Korean peninsula, other areas around the world were
scenes of East-West conflict conducted on a violence level
far below that of open war and in which the stakes of the
great powers involved were far less than they were in Korea.
These were the instances of shadow warfare, the projection
of force and counterforce by covert means in which the level
of commitment is kept so low that the chains of command from
Washington and Moscow to their respective participants could
at the time be but faintly traced. In the cold war or non-
war system of conflict, there have been instances in which
both opponents have relied completely upon projection of
power by covert means to attain v/ar objectives and have ac-
cepted defeats resulting from such methods of operation
rather than resorting to open intervention. Whether such
techniques have resulted in success or failure, the sponsoring
power has not admitted any direct involvement and has been
extremely reluctant to even claim any connection with what-
ever was happening in the country in question.
Two important instances of covert projection of power
during the time with which this paper is concerned are the
cases of Iran and Guatemala. In each of these the factions
friendly to the United States were successful. In Cuba., in
later years, Soviet-influenced elements brought about a take-
over by methods having some similarity to those used in the
earlier instances but that did not repeat their mistakes.
In the two earlier cases that will be described briefly,
and in the Cuban venture, there is even now little that can
be proved about the great power involvement. There are, how-
ever, several works containing undocumented accounts or spec-
ulations that have never been denied or affirmed by the coun-
tries concerned. Interesting as they are, these accounts re-
main unproved; and the exact degree of involvement by the
cold war opponents remains undetermined. 2 ?
Iran . Soviet military occupation of Iran had been
accomplished during the Second World War, and after the war
Stalin had refused to withdraw his army from the country.
The problem was taken to the United Nations; but, even while
the fruitless debate was going on, a strong protest by
President Truman was influential in bringing about a Soviet
Two of these insufficiently documented accounts
that were consulted but net cited are: Andrew Tully, CIA ;
The Inside Story , (New York: William Morrow and Company,
1962); and David Wise and Thomas B. Ross, The Invisible
Government , (New York: Random House, 1964) •
withdrawal. ° Even as the troops were being withdrawn, how-
ever, the organization of the Iranian Communist (Tudeh) Party
was being strengthened. Mass organizations of the type com-
mon to Soviet-dominated countries were brought into being,
and a systematic pattern of violence became evident through-
out the country. This violence included an attempt on the
life of the Shah of Iran in February 1949, and the assassin-
ation of the Premier , General Easmara, in February 1951. 2 9
The new Prime Minister was Dr. Mohammed Mossadegh, an
ardent nationalist. In the next two years, Mossadegh nation-
alized the Abadan refinery of the British-owned Anglo- Iranian
Oil Company, severed diplomatic relations with Britain, and
turned increasingly toward the Soviet Union. The Tudeh Party,
although outlawed, became increasingly active in the country;
and Mossadegh came more and more under its. control.-' In May
1953> an Iranian request for financial aid from the United
States was accompanied by indications that, if the aid were
Harry S. Truman, Memoirs by Harry 3. Truman , (Garden
City: Doubleday and Co., 1956), Vol. II, p. 95.
2 ^ Janes D. Atkinson, The Edge of War , (Chicago: Henry
Regnery Company, i960), p. 248.
3°Henry C. Atyeo, "Political Developments in Iran, 1951-
1954," Middle Eastern Affairs , August-September, 1954; David
J. Dallin, Soviet Foreign Policy After Stalin , (Philadelphia:
J. P. Lippincott Company, 1961), p. 210.
not granted as requested, the alternative would be increas-
ingly close economic and military relations with the Soviet
Union. In mid-July the Shah attempted to depose Mossadegh
from the Premiership, but riots in Tehran forced his reap-
During that summer, there were certain suspicious
happenings involving American nationals. U. S. Erigadier
General K. N. Schwarzkopf, who had recently spent seven years
training and assisting the semi -militarized constabulary of
Iran and v/ho had many close friends in influential positions
in the Iranian army, made a vacation trip to Iran in August
to renew old friendships. Other people were vacationing
elsewhere, and those in Switzerland included American Ambassa-
dor to Iran Loy Henderson, CIA Director Allen Dulles, and
Princess Ashraf, the twin sister of the Shah.^ 2
On August 16 it was suddenly announced that the Shah
had again deposed Dr. Mossadegh as Prime Minister and that
General Zahedi was designated to take his place. Mossadegh
refused to accept the order, and the Shah and his family
suddenly left the country. On the 19th, rioting broke out
in Tehran, with demonstrators proclaiming loyalty to the Shah.
31 Dallin, p. 211.
3 2 Atkinson, o£. cit ., pp. 250-1.
At the sane tine the ami;- declared for the Shah, and Mossa-
degh and his followers were arrested. General Zahedl was
Installed Prime Minister, and three weeks later it v/as
announced that President Eisenhower had made available $45
million for emergency economic aid to Iran.-'-'
There are a couple of interesting sidelights to this
affair. One of these is that between the time of the depart-
ure of the Shah from the country and the defeat of Mossadegh
by the army, the Tudeh party was in control of Tehran but
did not move to take over the government. One source reports
that this action was not taken because the Tudeh leaders
doubted their ability to defeat the non-Communist forces,
and that it had been made clear that Moscow would not provide
overt assistance. 3 ^ Another sidelight is that shortly after
Mossadegh wa3 arrested, the Soviet Ambassador to Iran, Anatol
Lavrentiev, suffered a heart attack and was incapacitated
for nearly a month. 35
Guatemala . The cold war conflict in Guatemala sim-
mered even longer that that of Iran before coming to a head.
33 Dallin, o£. cit., pp. 211-3.
^Ibid., p. 213.
3 ^New York Times , September 2 and 9, 1953.
By the time the showdown took place, Communist control of the
country was farther advanced than It had been in Iran; but
some Communist mistakes made it even easier to bring their
control to an end.
Communist influence in Guatemala had begun to be felt
in the late 1940' s in the government of Juan Jose Arevalo,
although the Communist Party itself was illegal in the
country. 3° The leading known Communists in Guatemala made
several trips to Moscow during the period of the Arevalo
government; and the expected successor to Arevalo, a strong
ant i- Communist, was mysteriously assassinated shortly before
the presidential election was due to be held. In the elction
of 1950, Colonel Jacobo Arbenz, the choice of the Communist-
dominated political parties, was elected president.
During the years of the Arbenz government, the Commu-
nist pattern of consolidation shown earlier in Eastern Europe
was closely followed. 3' The labor unions and other mass
organizations became more important in the political power
structure of the country, and a people's militia was in the
3°U # S. Government, Department of State, A Case His -
tory of Communist Penetration : Guatemala , (Washington: U.S.
Government Printing Office, 1957), PP. l#-9.
3 7 Ibid ., pp. 30-5.
process of being established. Of particular significance to
the United States was the changing orientation of Guatemala
on the international scene. Close ties were maintained by
the Communist Party of Guatemala, legal since 1951, with the
international communist movement; and economic and diplomatic
relations were increased between Guatemala and the countries
of the Soviet bloc. Even more important to the United States,
Guatemala was becoming a base from which Soviet influence
and subversive elements were being spread into the Western
In Guatemala the mistake of attracting the attention
of the United States through a blackmail threat such as that
made by Mossadegh in May 1953 was not repeated. However,
another opportunity for action was given. Colonel Castillo
Armas, an anti-Communist Guatemalan officer, had been im-
prisoned following an unsuccessful coup attempt when it was
becoming apparent that Arbenz would be elected president in
1950. In 1951> he had escaped from Jail and fled the country.
In early 195 2 *, he wa3 in Honduras trying to organize forces
to overthrow the Arbenz regime; and by June he had under his
command some two hundred exiles whose arms and equipment, it
9R* c *t ., PP« 30-5; Ronald M. Schneider, Communism
in Quatemala ,~i[New York: Praeger, 1953), PP. 275-5oT
Is suspected, were supplied by the United States. His occasion
to attack cane when a report was made public by the U. S.
Department of State that a shipment of Czechoslovak small
arms had been loaded aboard a Swedish ship at Stettin and was
destined for the Guatemalan people's militia.-'- 7 Castillo
Armas and Ills band moved across the border but were contained
by the Guatemalan array. The army, however, had been only
slightly penetrated by Communist influence and v/as fearful
of plans that the Communists might have for its members as
individuals. It feared also that the people's militia would
be used to consolidate Communist control, and so it refused
to allow the militia to be armed and finally forced the resig-
nation of Arbenz. The new government, in which Castillo
Armas emerged as president, was strongly pro-United States
and anti-Communist; and the Party in Guatemala was again
forced to go underground.
An evaluation . The governmental upheavals in Iran
and Guatemala were examples of the conduct of a great-power
conflict on an intermediary level in which neither great
power could be held responsible by the other for anything
3 9 Dcpartr.ent of State Bulletin , May 31, 1954, P. 835.
^°Schneider, og. cit., pp. 310-2.
that happened in the country concerned, although each knew
of the other's involvement. In neither instance were the
stakes unimportant, but the outcomes would not be significant
on the levels of national security or even prestige since the
presence of direct great-power involvement would not be pos-
itively determined. All that could result from episodes such
as these, if the great-power involvement remained covert,
would be a slight increase in the world-wide influence of one
major power at the expense of the other. This should not be
enough to make the loser resort to nuclear warfare to redeem
In this view it is necessary to consider briefly the
Communist takeover in Cuba. Castro consolidated his position
in the country and got rid of American influence before pro-
claiming himself a Marxist. By the time this was done, any
significant internal opposition had been eliminated. The
United States chose to combat the takeover by the same means
as had been successful in Guatemala, but here the circumstances
v/ere different enough to both force discernable American in-
volvement and to result in a complete defeat for the invaders.
Even when confronted with defeat for the elements they were
supporting and a major loss of face for the government of the
United States, President Kennedy and his staff chose to accept
the consequences of their miscalculations rather than re-
sorting to overt use of force to accomplish their purpose.
Prom these events there has been established the pat-
tern of covert power projection that has become one of the
primary channels of cold war conduct. The exact extent to
which it is used cannot be determined, because there are
taking place so many instances in which cold war manipula-
tion is possible but doubtful. The techniques used, varying
in degree from guerrilla warfare to minor instances of espion-
age and subversion, are such that it is hard to prove the
presence of the controlling elements if they do exist. Yet
these techniques can bring about results favorable to an
interested foreign nation, and so their place is assured among
the important elements of the cold war system.
3. THE NON-INTERVENTIONS
As part of the efforts by both the United States and
The Soviet Union to avoid a direct confrontation between them,
there have been in recent years certain instances of inaction,
begun in the case of the Berlin blockade and repeated else-
where, that have become part of the pattern cf cold war con-
duct. In the Berlin confrontation, neither power would overtly
intervene in areas where the opponent had legal basis for
control or where legal basis was indistinct, but the opponent
was in physical possession of a piece of real estate. The
areas included here were the two halves of the city, the land
access routes, and the air corridors.
This pattern of action was reinforced in later years.
The Soviets did not openly assist the Tudeh party in taking
control of the Iranian government while the Shah was out of
the count ry in August 1953; and, having received no legal
invitation due to the shortage of tine, they did not render
aid to the Arbenz government in Guatemala in 1954. Later,
when the Americans and British acted upon the invitations of
the legal governments to send troops into Lebanon and Jordan
in 1958, the Soviet opposition took only the form of protests.
The United States has followed the same pattern of
action. During the uprisings in East Berlin in 1953 and
Hungary in 1956, only moral support against the Soviets was
given by the West. The Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba was in-
terference by the United States in a Soviet-controlled terri-
tory, but it was intended to be covert; and at the crucial
point the American decision was to remain within the estab-
lished pattern of conduct and refrain from overt intervention
on the side of the invaders.
During the cold war years, the failure of the United
States and Russia to intervene openly in each ether's af-
fairs was a result of decisions that, quite likely, ~ave
little concern, at the tine, to the establishment cf a pat-
tern of action. Yet, from them a pattern of action did de-
velop. By the end of 195^, there could be discerned the
principle of action by which each side would enccura~e dis-
sident elements within the territory of the other and use
any incidents resulting from their actions as cold war prop-
asanda. However, except for any covert action that may be
carried out, no other measures would be taken. This principle
of action demonstrated an acceptance by the United States
of Russian control over Eastern Europe that would not be
challenged by American military power, and it indicated a
shifting of the primary cold war battlefield from Europe to
the vast areas of the world where neither power had control.
4. POLITICAL WARFARE
Historical development . The concept of political war-
fare is a Marxist one, and it is based upon the inseparability
of peace and war as lon^ as capitalism exists anywhere in the
world. 41 From the bc^inninG, to the Marxists, "strussle" or
Robert Strausz-Haupe ct. al., Protracted Conflict ,
(New York: Harper, 1959), p. 109.
"battle" did not necessarily include the use of armed force.
The status of political rather than military warfare was de-
noted in Trotsky f s plan "to stop the war, not to conclude peace"
in February 19l8> and the uniqueness of such an idea almost
brought about its success against Germany. Lenin's philos-
ophy of war was dependent to a great extent upon the work of
Clausewiczj and his efforts to influence the men of the Ger-
man army during the Brest-Litovsk negotiations showed his
appreciation of the non-military aspects of warfare. * The
elimination of the dividing line between peace and war was
further expanded upon in the theoretical writings of Lenin and
Stalin, and the entire history of the Soviet Union can be
looked upon as a series of attempts to expand Communist in-
fluence into Europe and Asia by means other than open warfare. *
The First World War saw the large scale use of economic
warfare and startling developments in the fields of public
opinion aid propaganda, all of which were applicable to uae
in time of peace as well as in time of war. In the First
World War, when vast conscript armies took the field and were
E. H. Carr, The Bolshevik Revolution , (New York: The
Macmillan Company, I96I) Volume III., p. 36.
^Stefan T. Possony, A Century of Conflict , (Chicago:
Henry Regnery Co., 1953 ), PP. 21-3*
Atkinson, o£. cit ., p. 63.
in turn supported by millions of workers in munitions and
supply industries and when it became possible for the first
time to communicate with these millions on a mass basis, the
total morale of the nation became of prime importance. * In
the postwar Western world, however, these developments were
considered as part of warfare and fell into disuse as writers
and thinkers continued to concern themselves with the tra-
ditional distinctions between war and peace rather than about
the changes that were beginning to muddle the differences
between the two. James Atkinson calls attention to the atti-
tude, especially strong in the United States, that such ac-
tivities as espionage and intelligence work were excusable
and even acceptable during a state of declared war but that
they were not quite the sort of thing that nice people did
when the shooting was all over.
In the Second World War, although overshadowed by the
vast military campaigns, the elements of political warfare
were employed on a scale greater than that of the earlier
conflict. Psychological and economic warfare were used more
extensively than in the past, .and guerilla warfare and resist-
ance movements took place in the enemy-occupied countries.
^Terence 11, Qualter, Propaganda and Psychological
Warfare , (New York: Random House, 19^2), pp. 5^-5.
^Atkinson, Edge of War, p. 109.
Still these methods continued to be looked upon In the West
as adjuncts to, rather than as substitutes for military
When the Second World War ended., Russia continued her
efforts at political warfare, turning them now against the
V/est. Since 19^5, Professor Atkinson considers this form of
warfare to have been brought by the Soviets to a near-perfect
state. He cites as the conditions making possible the full
development of political v/arfare four revolutions of modern
times: the revolution in education that brought about the
mass audience for propaganda and a large intelligentia capable
of acting upon it, the revolution in communications enabling
the propagandist to contact his mass audience, the revolution
in weapons that makes other forms of warfare less attractive,
and the revolution effected by the politicisation of warfare,
the merging of politics and war brought about by the combin-
ation of Marxist theory and Communist experience. °
The nature of political v/arfare . The thing that is
here called political warfare has been considered by other
writers under various names. Atkinson called it unconven-
tional warfare, but that term has since come to be restricted
^7Qualter, o£. clt ., p. 125.
Atkinson, o£. clt ., pp. 272-5.
to guerrilla and counter-guerrilla operations. It has been
called cold war, but that tern better describes the system
within which it is used. It has also been referred to as
competitive co-existence. The originators and users of these
terms are all concerned with the same thing, and that is the
manner of warfare by which the cold war is conducted. This
manner of warfare is one that includes the use of propaganda,
economic warfare, sabotage, espionage, subversion, strikes,
civil disturbances, terrorism, and guerrilla warfare; and it
includes their use against an opponent with which the pro-
tagonist is technically at peace. None of the techniques
listed here is new in itself; what is new is the way in which
they are employed on a massed and coordinated scale as a sub-
stitute for, rather than an adjunct to, military action. The
technique of political warfare is a synthesis of all the other
techniques, conducted on any scale appropriate to the ends
The weapons of political warfare , Louis Fischer has
described the cold war as a competition between the United
States and the Soviet Union for the friendship, good will,
diplomatic support, allegiance, and alliance of other countries. 5°
^Atkinson, og. cit ., pp. 196-7.
* Loui3 Fischer, Russia , America, and the Uorld , (New
York: Harper & Brothers, i960) , p. 8.
Such objectives, all of which are intangible, are not readily
attainable by the overt use of military means, but they do
lend themselves to being achieved through the non-military
methods of political warfare. Most of the political warfare
techniques that have been listed above can be grouped under
the general heading of projection of power by covert means,
but even covert projection of power can be used best in com-
bination with other efforts. The two overt means of attracting
support throughout the world that have been most adaptable
to the cold war system are propaganda and economic warfare,
the latter conducted primarily through trade restrictions and
foreign economic assistance. Each of these techniques can be
used in an entirely non-violent atmosphere, can get certain
results, and can safely be carried to any degree considered
necessary by the nation using it. There have been a number
of excellent studies done on each of these techniques,-^ so
here there will be discussed only briefly their use in the
cold war system.
Propaganda, in its current use in international rela-
tions, has been defined as "the deliberate attempt by some
individual or group to form, control, or alter the attitudes
A listing of excellent studies on both propaganda
and economic warfare is contained in the bibliography to this
of other groups by the use of the instruments of communica-
tion, with the intention tiiat in any given situation the re-
actions of those so influenced will be that desired by the
propagandist. 5 2 jn the cold war system, propaganda, due in
part to the revolutions in communications and education around
the world, has become amenable to use to an extent much great-
er than ever before. Its particular significance in the cold
war is that it, like many of the other techniques of politi-
cal warfare, is here used on a large scale for the first
time as a substitute for, rather than an auxiliary to, mili-
Cold war propaganda is distributed by both the United
States and the Soviet Union through almost every conceivable
medium, although the Russians spend considerably more money
and effort on it than does the United States.^ Each najtion
has its own official propaganda agency, the Department of
Agitation and Propaganda of the Communist Party of the Soviet
Union and the United States Information Agency. Each has
* Qualter, o£. cit ., p. 27.
"a detailed and scholarly examination of the Soviet
propaganda organization is contained in Frederick C. Barghoorn,
Soviet Foreign Propaganda, (Princeton: Princeton University.
Press, 1964) . This author knows of no comparable study of the
American propaganda organization.
its official government radio station — ours is prohibited
from operating in this country — which operates in many lan-
guages throughout the v/orld. Both sides use magazines, trade
fairs, cultural exchanges, and education programs generally
offered to students from third countries. Russia also uses
various front organizations and the foreign Communist parties
whenever convenient, while propaganda organs of this type
have generally been unavailable to the United States. The
basic advantages of propaganda as a weapon for both sides
have lain in its cheapness, its ease of propagation, and its
suitablility to combination with other cold war techniques.
Propaganda in the cold war system is a weapon that has
been used with great effect by both sides to take maximum
advantage of opponents 1 policy errors or of circumstances
innately favorable to one's own interests. The United States
exploited the propaganda elements in the Hungarian uprising
of 1956 with good results, and she v/as able to use this inci-
dent to help isolate the Russian position in the Suez crisis.
Russia did the same with the U-2 incident and the cancelled
Summit meeting of May 1960.-^* The Soviets have effectively
used the twin themes of nationalism and anti-colonialism in
3 David J. Dallin, Soviet Foreig n Policy After Stalin ,
pp. 414, 510-1.
their appeals to the under-developed world, and they have con-
tinually preyed upon the universal desire for peace and fear
of nuclear war.^ p Yet propaganda load its distinct limitations,
the first being that talk can only be effective so long with-
out being followed up by action. Propaganda, especially of
the Soviet variety, tends to be repetitiousj and it is said
to lose its appeal as the level of audience sophistication
rises. 5° Propaganda is most effective when it had as its
subject something against which the opponent is unable to build
a counter-argument, and efforts which are seriously combatted
by the cold war adversary can generally be neutralized.
Foreign economic assistance is best utilized in the
cold war system in conjunction with an active propaganda
campaign. It was first used as a weapon against Russian ex-
pansion by the United States in Greece and Turkey in 19^7*
and its success there and in Western Europe prompted its use
by the Soviets in the early 1950' s. Foreign assistance with-
in the cold war system can be given for any of several pur-
poses; its value to the giver is dependent upon its effect on
55Barghoorn, Soviet Foreign Propaganda , pp. 300-1.
Ibid., pp. 312-3. The decreasing effectiveness of
Soviet and Allied propaganda during the ten months of the Ber-
lin blockade is shown in W. Davidson, The Berlin Blockade , pp.
the political beliavior of the recipient nation. ^'
The American foreign assistance program is primarily,
but not entirely., a result ox* the cold war. It is motivated
by a combination of altruism, the long-range desire for a
better world, and the short-term goal of increasing the in-
fluence of the United States in a specific area or preventing
the growth of Soviet or Chinese influence in that area. 5°
The Soviet foreign assistance program to non-Communist coun-
tries, which has been referred to as economic penetration
designed to lead to political takeover, °* is, according to all
evidence, conducted almost entirely in the cold war context.
The Soviet program is considerably more narrow in scope than
that of the United States and is generally directed to places
Six types of foreign aid are described by Hans J.
Morgenthau in his article "Preface to a Political Theory of
Aid," which has been reprinted in several anthologies. His
six types are humanitarian foreign aid, subsistence foreign
aid, military foreign aid, bribery, prestige foreign aid,
and foreign aid for economic development. These aid types
are still the best short description of purposes for which
aid can be used, and all can be considered as applicable
within the cold war context.
^^Hollis B. Chenery, "Objectives and Criteria for For-
eign Assistance," Why Foreign Aid ? R. A. Goldwin ed., (Chi-
cago: Rand McNally, 19^3)., P« 33.
Howard K. Smith et. al., The Ruble War , subtitled
"A Study of Russia's Economic Penetration versus U. S. For-
eign Aid. (Buffalo: Smith, Keynes & Marshall, 1958).
where political results can be expected.
Tfte effect of economic assistance as a weapon in the
cold war is dependent upon the amount of political leverage
that it can gain for the giver in a recipient country. Even
access for one's propaganda material to the communications
media of the recipient country can lead to increased good
will toward the donor nation and decreasing friendship with
the cold war opponent. Aid can also give a firm ally the
strength to maintain political stability, and its threatened
withdrawal can possibly discourage unfriendly actions by the
In practice, the use of aid as a cold war weapon has
been disillusioning for both sides. Because of its avail-
ability from the cold war opponent, aid has not resulted in
the development of strong allies unless there were present
other conditions more important than aid in the determination
of cold war side- taking. Many neutral nations have begun to
play one cold war opponent against the other, drawing aid
from both and giving political benefit to neither. Aid has
been successful in such cases when the interests of the giver
and recipient have been in accord, such as the bringing into
the neutralist grouping nations that would otherwise be more
influenced by the cold war opponent. Examples here include
Yugoslavia for the United States and Egypt for the Soviet
5. THE ROLES OF DIPLOMACY
The extensive use of political warfare in the cold war
system of conflict has resulted in the development of a new
role for diplomacy in addition to its traditional place in
international affairs. The new role is a public one, and it
has grown out of both the Wilsonian and the Trotskyite distaste
for secret agreements. The occasional resort to public threats,
the "missle rattling" and "nuclear blackmail" are only a small
part of this role; and its most frequent employment is in the
arena of public negotiation about subjects that really have
very little chance of resolution.
The new role of diplomacy consists primarily in the
conduct of negotiation for "side-effects" rather than for the
purpose of reaching agreement. Side-effects of negotiation
have been defined as effects, not concerning agreement, which
flow from the very process of negotiation." Fred Charles Ikle
notes that "proposals and speeches at the conference table,
Fred Charles Ikle, Hoi7 Nations Negotiate , New York:
Harper & Row, 1964, p. 42. Here the author studies the ne-
gotiating process within the theoretical framework laid down
in Thomas C. Schilling's The Strategy of Conflict , cited
earlier in this paper.
contacts with the opponent's diplomats, and the interest a-
roused among third parties may all contribute to various pol-
icy aims without leading to the settlement of the issues openly
discussed. "k* He lists as among the most 1-portant side-
effects of negotiation those of maintaining contact, substi-
tuting for violent action, gaining intelligence, deception,
propaganda, and the impact of negotiation on third parties.
In the cold war system the most important of the side-effects
is that of propaganda, including the impact of the negotiation
on third parties.
Professor Ikle writes that propaganda can be either a
technique for getting good terms of agreement or a side-effect
which serves other foreign policy objectives. The latter use
of propaganda he examines in three aspects: "negotiating to
have a sounding-board, negotiating to gain prestige, and ne-
gotiating to show rectitude like the Pharisee saying his pray-
ers. 2 The sounding-board effect of negotiation occurs mainly
at summit meetings and other high-level conferences; and it
serves to give a government's positions and policy goals more
publicity than they might otherwise receive, especially when
they are put forth as negotiating proposals. Proposals made
6l Ikle, o£. cit., p. 42. 6 2 Ibid ., p. 52.
In the glare of such publicity can be done with little regard
for their acceptance by one's opponent, and attention can be
directed instead to their effect upon the people of the oppos-
ing nation or upon world opinion.
Negotiating for prestige is of value to those govern-
ments who feel that their name and political standing are en-
hanced by attendance at such international meetings, much the
same as the prestige of a national leader is enhanced through
state visits to or from the leaders of important nations.
This cannot be ruled out of the frequent Russian demands for
summit meetings during the 1950 's, but neither can it be con-
sidered as of more than minor importance.
The practice of negotiating to show rectitude and to
place one's opponent in an unfavorable position in regard to
world opinion comes from the prevalent notion that negotiation
is a "good thing" and that the mere act of negotiating and the
presentation of proposals can gain favor in the eyes of the
world. Both cold war opponents have made and explained the
Tightness, and therefore the uncompromisability, of their pro-
posals for the reunification of Germany, but each proposal
contained a first step that was unacceptable to the opponent.
Negotiating to show rectitude has become quite common in the
Geneva disarmament negotiations, which one writer describes as
an "international farce" and accuses the negotiators of both
sides of "playing the game of political warfare, busily put-
ting each other in t he wrong before the bar of world opinion. "°3
John Spanier breaks down the elements of gamesmanship
used by both sides in the Geneva negotiations. He lists them
as: first, the carrying on of negotiations amid a continual
barrage of propaganda; second, the oversimplification of issues
to increase their appeal to world opinion; third, the drawing
out of negotiations by presentation of proposals that had
previously been rejected; and fourth, and most important, the
posing by each side as the representative of virtue and the
picturing of the opponent as the offspring of the devil. He
considers the object of this Soviet-American gamesmanship *o
be "to reject the proposals of the other side without appearing
to sabotage the negotiations, to portray one's ovm plans as
reasonable and realistic and thoso of one's opponent as un-
workable and unfair, and to place the blame for the failure of
the negotiations on the other side." This is done through
the introduction of the "joker," the one condition in every
disarmament proposal that makes it unacceptable to the opponent.
°3john strachey, On the Prevention of War , London:
Kacmillan, 1962, p. 162.
This joker can be a condition inserted into the proposal for
the purpose of making it unacceptable, or it can be a pro-
vision included because it is considered to be necessary to
the security of the nation making the proposal. Either way,
its effect is the sane.
An outstanding example of the new role of diplomacy was
that grandest of recent international conferences, the Geneva
Summit Meeting of 1955. The event was hailed with great en-
thusiasm by world opinion and by several of the non-partici-
pating world leaders, and a record thirteen hundred represen-
tatives of the world press applied for press cards. Both sides
came to the conference with the misconception that the other
was ready to make major concessions, and the optimistic mood
was furthered by the friendly behavior of the Soviet delegation
during the pre- conference festivities. 5
The differing programs put forth by the heads of the
delegations were viewed as only the first stage of bargaining.
John W. Spanier and Joseph L. Nogee, The Politics of
Disarmament , New York: Praeger, 19o2, pp. 48-54. The use of
the joker is in no way confined to proposals concerning disarm-
ament, and its use has already been mentioned above in the con-
flicting conditions presented by Russia and the United States
for the formation of an all-German government.
° 5 David Dallin, Soviet Foreign Policy After Stalin , p.28l.
President Eisenhower spoke or three issues: Germany, Eastern
Europe, and international communism; but all except Germany
were shortly afterward vetoed as agenda items by Bulganln.
Three issues proposed by Russia — cessation of the cold war,
neutrality, and Asia and the Par East — were likewise rejected.
This left Germany as the sole subject for serious discussion;
and when, after three days, neither side had budged from its
original position, the conference closed and the problems were
turned over to a conference of foreign ministers to be held
Although the only agreement reached at Geneva was a
tacit one of acceptance of the status quo in Germany in the
face of continued disagreement as to its resolution, the side-
effects of the conference had an importance of their own. By
their acceptance at the conference, the Russians were accorded
a status of equality by the Western powers. The great amount
of publicity given the conference enabled the Soviets, who
frequently had met resistance to their attempts to spread
their propaganda through the non-communist news media, to
speak over the heads of the other delegations and directly to
the people of the world. For some time afterward the Russian
press treated the conference as though it had been successful,
and the "spirit of Geneva" continued to be mentioned by Moscow
even after the failure of the conference of foreign ministers
in November. 00 The largest apparent success for the American
side came in the Eisenhower "open skies" proposal, which is
reported as being made primarily for its propaganda value to-
ward combatting the rising European indifference to NATO and
unenthusiasm for American bases on European soil.
While one aspect of cold war diplomacy was that of a
technique of political warfare, the normal diplomatic contact
maintained at all times between the United States and the
Soviet Union can be best considered within the historic defin-
ition of diplomacy rather than as part of the cold war system.
The traditional methods of secret diplomacy and private nego-
tiation were the ones chosen whenever there arose issues upon
which agreement was of interest to both sides. Already men-
tioned in this paper were the negotiations conducted by Soviet
UN Delegate Jacob Malik that led to the termination of the
blockade of Berlin and the cease-fire in Korea. The relative
effectiveness of public and private negotiations was graph-
ically illustrated by the rapidity with which the Limited
Nuclear Test Ban Treaty was negotiated in private, after years
6 Dallin, o£. cit., p. 285.
'Robert J. Donovan, Eise nh ower ; The Inside Story ,
New York: Harper & Brothers, 195o, pp. 3^4 -o^
of public effort without agreement in Geneva.
It is worthy of note that the private diplomatic contact
between the United States and the Soviet Union has not resul-
ted in any steps to end the cold v.*ar or to resolve any of the
concrete issues over which the cold war originally came to be.
Rather, the diplomatic efforts of both powers have been direc-
ted toward keeping the conflict between them within the con-
fines of the cold war system; and ever since the start of the
cold war constant contact has been naintained between the two
• nations to try to prevent misunderstandings that could cause
intensification of the conflict and lead to the possibility
of its getting out of control. Frequent examples of diplomatic
efforts to keep the cold war controllable and within its sys-
tem are available} and recent ones include the Test Ban Trea-
ty, the pronouncements of the destructiveness of nuclear war
by both President Kennedy and Chairrian Khruschev, and the
« establishment of a line of direct cocnunication between Wash-
ington and Moscow. All of these steps have taken place since
the advent of the balance of nuclear terror situation and
after the specific time period under discussion in this pa-
per; and all of them are efforts, not to resolve the cold war
conflict, but merely to keep it on a level on which it can be
SUEZ: THE MATURE SYSTEM
With the introduction of foreign assistance programs
on a large scale by both sides, the cold xvar system of con-
flict as it is known today was brought to its full develop-
ment, and even as it was reaching this full development the
bipolar world that fostered it was beginning to come apart.
The first cracks became visible in the great power maneuver-
ing following the Egyptian nationalization of the Suez Canal,
while at the same time splits were appearing in the Russian
empire in Eastern Europe.
The actions of the United States and Russia in the
Suez Canal crisis of the fall of 1956 demonstrated the matur-
ity of the cold war system of conflict, but as a result of
this crisis a new element was added to the relationship be-
tween the two powers. The maturity of the system was shown
by the use, at one time or another, and in accord with the
rules of conduct established over the previous years, of all
the applicable cold war techniques which are in use at the
present day. Economic and military assistance, propaganda,
diplomatic maneuvering and threats, attempts at a form of
intervention that would have to be accepted by the opponent,
and snail-scale warfare were all used by at least one of the
several participants. The new element was that of the United
States and Russia being united in opposition to the desires
of Great Britain and France, the first time during the period
of cold war that the two ^reat powers were on the same side
in any major international issue. From this time on, the
possibility of Russian and American cooperation toward a com-
mon Goal, whether for the 3ane or for differing reasons, was
one tliat would have to be considered; and each of the two
nations v/ould be forced to abandon the position of automatic
opposition to anything the other had done simply for the
reason that the other had done it.
The Suez incident had been building since the overthrow
of King Farouk of Egypt in 1952 and particularly since Gamal
Abdel Nasser's official assi^iption of power in 195^. Since
the early part of 1955, trade and diplomatic relations had
been increasing between Egypt and the nations of the Soviet
bloc; and Russian arms and technicians had been brought into
Egypt in increasing numbers. 1 Nasser v/as not the first leader
*By the end of October 1956, the number of Russian and
Ea3t European diplomats and technicians in Egypt was estimated
to be a3 high as two thousand. Mew York Times , October 29,
of a snail nation to make the cold war work to ills advantage,
but he was the first to try to play the great powers against
one another to do so. Assistance from the Soviet Union did not
pull Nasser into the Soviet bloc., whether or not that xvas its
purpose; but it did enable him to act in what he considered
his own interest and also the Russian interest without fear
of Western economic reprisals.
The financing of the Aswan High Dam had originally been
offered in part by the United States; but in July 1956, Sec-
retary of State John Foster Dulles withdrew the American of-
fer. Dulles 1 ostensible reason for this action was some finan-
cial difficulty concerning Egyptian ability to pay its share
for the construction of the dam; his actual reason has been
described as that of Egypt's policy stands contrary to those
of the United States." W. W. Rostow called the withdrawal
of the offer of assistance on the dam "a virtual challenge to
Nasser, in effect ending the awkward interval of two-way
Egyptian blackmail and inviting Nasser to do his worst. "'
Guy V/int and Peter Calvocores3i, Middle East Crisis
(Hammond smith, Middlesex! Penquin Books, 1957), PP. o7-9.
Cecil V. Crabb, American ?oreign Policy in the Nuclear Age
(Evans ton: How, Peterson, & Company, I960), pp. 27^-5.
"Hf. VJ. Rostow, The United States in the World Arena
(New York: Harper £: Row, i960), p. 357.
Nasser's v/orst v;as the nationalization of the Suez
Canal, a step that hurt Great Eritain and Prance more than
anyone else. Both of these nations had, since the end of
the Second World War, lost ciost of their prior influence in
the Arab world; and they had little nore to lose through any
Ill-will that would be created by their taking over the canal
by force of arms and thereby possibly unseating Nasser. Still
they acted with caution. Their attack on the canal did not
take place until diplomatic efforts had failed three months
after nationalization, and then it was done in concert with
a move by Israel through the Gaza strip.
The United States and Russia each had an interest in
the prevention of hostilities in the Suez area. Both were
concerned about the controlability of any war that mi^ht break
out in the Iliddle East. The Russian objective in Egypt had
been the replacement of Western influence in the country with
her own, and she had been proceeding toward it quite well
through propaganda and the use of economic and military assist-
ance* The United States wanted to preserve her influence in
the area in the face of Russian expansion. She saw communism
as the real enemy in the Iliddle East and regarded Arab
Wint and Calvocoressi, op, cit., p. 107.
nationalism as a potential ally against it. The American pol-
icy makers, therefore, "v;ere by no means disposed to encourage
communism by conniving at an attack on Egypt which they re-
garded as being inspired by predatory Anglo-French imperial
During the period of time between the nationalization
of the canal and the British and French paratroop attack,
Russian propaganda, in its normal cold war way, continued to
equate the interests of the three major Western powers with
one another. This was done on doctrinal as well as practical
grounds, in accord with the "primary Soviet principle" of
opposition to the United States, as well as for the practical
objective of bringing about the total discrediting of the
West in Arab eyes.? Whether or not the Soviets believed their
own propaganda, their continued promulgation of the position
of Western solidarity left Russia unprepared when the United
States took the lead in opposition to Great Britain and France.
As early as the Second London Conference in September
195^1 differences were observable among the Western allies in
*Mohn Marlowe, Arab Nationalism and British Imperial -
ism (New York: Praeger, 1961), p. 142.
David J. Dallin, Soviet Foreign Policy After Stalin
(Philadelphia: J. P. Lippincott Co., 1961), pp. 412-20.
'Wint and Calvocoressi, o£, cit ., p. 93.
their desires concerning the proposed Suez Canal Users 1
Association, and their differences were expressed by Dulles
at his news conference on October 2. A momentary appearance
of harmony was shown at the United Nations on October 13,
when Dulles voted in favor of the Anglo-French Security
Council resolution designed to implement the principles upon
which the Users ' Association was to be based; but Dulles voted
as he did for political reasons of his own rather than from
any necessary convergence of his interests with those of
Great Britain and Prance. Shortly after the Russian veto
of this resolution came increasing* coolness between the United
States and Great Britain and France and the trip of Anthony
Eden and Selwyn Lloyd to Paris. Russia, having doubts about
the results of the Paris meeting between the British and French
prime ministers and soon to be occupied with her own problems
in Hungary, shortly afterward reduced her polemics over the
Suez developments and remained relatively Inactive regarding
the Middle East question until after the outbreak of hostilities
Dulles had promised to support the Anglo-French res-
olution in return for British agreement to his suggestion that
the meetings of the Security Council be held in closed session,
in which the Anglo-French, the Egyptian, and the Russian prop-
agandists would be unable to mount their appeals to world opin-
ion. V/int and Calvocoressi, Middle East Crisis , p. 77. Her-
man Finer, Dulles Over Suez , (Chicago: Quadrangle Books, 1964),
on October 29.
Upon the commencement of hositillties, the Unitc-d States
acted at once to try to restore order. The U1I Security Coun-
cil net on October 30 to consider an American resolution cal-
lins for Israel to sive y P the territory seined from £~ypt
and fox* everyone else to refrain fron usin^ force. The reso-
lution was supported by Russia but vetoed by Great Britain and
Prance. The Canadian cease-fire resolution in the General
Assembly two days later v;as also supported by the United States
and Russia and opposed by Great Britain and Prance.
The cold war Issue at stake in the Suez Canal Incident
v/as the desire, held by Russia and the United States, to each
increase her influence in the Arab world at the expense of the
other. To this end, the American efforts were directed toward
getting the British and French out of the Canal Zone; and
American pressure has been credited by some observers as the
decisive factor in bringing about the withdrawal. 9 Early
Russian attempts to lead the opposition to the An^lo-French
action took the form of unsuccessful efforts to mobilize the
Bandung powers and to hold another Afro-Asian conference on
°Marlowe, o£. cit . , p. 141. French Foreign Minister
Pineau is reported to have rated American pressure as second
only in importante to British internal division amonc the fac-
tors causing the Anglo-French withdrawal from Suez. Dallin,
o£. clt.j p. 418.
the Issue of Egypt. 10 Later Russia tried, through threats
aimed at Great Britain and France but made after the Anglo-
French announcement of intent to withdraw from Egypt, to pose
as the defender of the Arabs. A Russian proposal of Soviet-
American collaboration to "guarantee the end of agression
against the Egyptian people" was rejected by the United States,
and the rejection was accompanied by suggestions that the
Soviets get out of Hungary. 1 After the announcement of the
cease-fire, Russia offered to send volunteers to Egypt in
case Great Britain and France refused to withdraw their troops
from Egyptian territory, but the timing of this offer indi-
cates that it was made only after it was virtually certain
that its implementation would not be required. 12
When the Suez crisis of 1956 is looked upon as a cold
war confrontation between the United States and Russia, the
action pattern described above gives indications that the
maneuvers of each great power were designed primarily for
their effect upon the cold war opponent and only secondarily
for their effect upon Egypt, Great Britain, and Prance. The
United States wanted to restore order quickly, for any
10 Dallin, p. 415. n lbid ., p. 41?.
•/alter Z. Laqueur, The Soviet Union and the Middle
East (New York: Praeger, 195977 P. 239.
lengthening of the period of instability would only give in-
creased opportunity for Russian intervention through the
sending of more technicians and canal pilots, to say nothing
of the threatened "volunteers." Russia was less interested
in preventing injury to Egypt than she was in the recruitment
of other nations that she could lead in loud opposition to
the Anglo-French action. The Egyptian act of nationalization,
done in reprisal against an action of the United States and
Great Britain, was something more easily supported by Russia
than by the United States; and a judgment between conflicting
interests was necessary before America could plur.ge into
That the Suez incident was indicisive in altering the
Soviet-American power balance in the Arab world was not due
to the inability of the techniques used to cot results, but
rather due to the fact that the actions of the two powers
served to counter one another. If either had remained unin-
volved, the other could have made some real, though temporary
advances. Russia continued the propaganda battle long after
the Suez incident itself had been ended; and the continued
and unopposed effort, along with inept presentation by the
United States, enabled the Soviets to bring about a rejection
by Arab public opinion of the Eisenhower Doctrine. 1 -
Laqueur, o£, cit ., pp. 241-4.
The real winner at Suez, however, was Nasser, who by the end
of 1956. had increased his prestise and Influence throushout
the Arab world and had the two leading world powers vying for
his friendship. Neither the United States nor the Soviet
Union was able to dominate the Middle East, and each could
act there only In accord with the interests of local powers.
Arab nationalism remained the dominant force In the region.
The Suez crisis brought a rounding out of the techniques
of the cold war. Since then there have been minor modifications
of techniques seen earlier, such as the prestise competition
in space; but here have been no new techniques introduced.
Suez also showed the limits of applicability of the cold war.
It was a case i/here the cold war was used for the benefit of
a third party more than either participant and a case where
common Interest of the competing powers almost dictated open
cooperation between them. For the United States and Russia
the Suez incident was a demonstration that their quarrel could
be turned to the benefit of others and that there should, in
the future, be Instances in which it would be to their benefit
to act in common, each want ins the same end although for pos-
sibly different rea3on3.
ANALYSIS OF THE SYSTEM
The incidents of the cold war that have been discussed
in the course of this paper have been covered from a very
narrow viewpoint and with no attempt to analyze their signif-
icance on world affairs as a whole. The discussion has been
• concerned entirely with a demonstration of the contribution of
these events to the development of the system of conflict that
shows its full maturity at Suez in 1956. The cold war events
since Suez have generally been conducted within the rules that
had by then been established; and only one incident, with its
implications for the system, has to be considered in any de-
tail in order to brine the system up to date. Before that is
done, it will be of value to analyze the system as it existed
at the end of 195^, to break down the rules under which it
operated, and to consider it as a conceptual whole rather than
as a series of loosely connected events.
By the time of the Suez crisis, the objectives of the
cold war had been clearly stated by each of the two competing
nations; the rules of conduct had been established, and there
was a method of determining who was winning. Both sides had
shown a willingness to express their conflict in the manner in
which it was being done, and this willingness demonstrated
before 1956 was to become even more apparent during the ensuing
years of the nuclear balance of terror. There was still no
guarantee that the cold war would stay cold, and there is none
even today; but the public and official concern shown by both
sides over a possible Soviet- American confrontation indicates
that the United States and the Soviet Union will continue to
accept this system of conflict as an alternative to thermo-
nuclear war for the settlement of all issues short of direct
peril to their survival as great powers.
The basic expressed objectives of each side in the
Soviet-American cold war have not changed since its inception,
and they have not come any closer to being fulfilled. Since
the Soviet Union developed the national power to start ex-
panding territorially during the Second './or Id : ,. r ar, she has
preached of the. collapse of an economic and social system
called capitalism and of the dominance of Russian communism
over the world. She has so far shown no verbal willingness
to halt her struggle until her desired conditions are brought
about. The United States still has as its announced objec-
tive "the granting of political freedom to Eastern Europe in
exchange for a European armaments and security agreement, and
the creation of an effective international system of nuclear
arns control." The United States, since the inception of the
cold war, has connitted herself enough times to these objectives
that she could renounce them only v;ith great difficulty.
The objectives expressed above have in common the facts
that neither concerns an interest vital to the continued ex-
istence of the nation espousing it, and that there is no ser-
ious pressure presented for an immediate solution of the prob-
lems raised by either objective. Each objective comes down
finally to a question of abstract power, for power to bring
about the acceptance of such an objective by an opponent would
place the holder of that much power in a position so 3trong
that he could force his opponent to accept almost anything
else too. Unexpressed objectives of Russia and the United
States, including some which are even capable of political or
military realization, can all be considered as included in the
larger expressed objective, and the resolution of a minor in-
dividual issue does nothing to reduce the abstract objective
Neither expressed objective is immediately realizeable
by military means. A Russian military victory could not bring
about the acceptance of communism by anyone, but it would only
W. W. Rostow, The United States in the Korld Arena
(New Yorlc: Harper & Rev:, i960), p. 422.
result in a military occupation until such tine as Russia
would be no longer interested in seeing superficial compli-
ance with a Soviet-imposed social system. An American mili-
tary victory would eliminate the necessity for the European
agreements sought by the United States, as there is no need
for the vanquished to asree to actions taken by "the victor.
It is possible that the expressed cold war objectives may have
been of high importance to the participants at one time, but
their lack of attainability over the years has decreased what
importance they may have had. Also tending to decrease their
importance is the ease with which their unattainability can
be accepted, provided no public admission is made of it.
The willingness to carry on their conflict within the
cold war system has been signified by both the United States
and Russia through the efforts of each to avoid a direct mil-
itary confrontation between them. This has taken the form,
in head-to-head situations such as the Berlin blockade and
later the Cuban missile crisis, of never placing the opponent
in a situation from which there is no way out but to fight.
In indirect confrontations such as Iran in 1953, Hungary in
1956, and Lebanon and Jordan in 1953, it has taken the form
in which the creat p v/er first intervening in a le^al manner
will not be opposed later by the other. In Suez in 1956,
neither power was able to get into a position whereby he could
openly intervene, by invitation of Nasser, under conditions
that would have to be accepted by the other. At the same time,
Joint action by the United States and Russia prevented suc-
cessful intervention by others.
1. THE RUL23 OP COLD l/AR
Objectives of cold war. Historically, war3 have been
fought for almost every imaginable reason; but the basic and
immediate objectives of warfare have always been the same.
The basic objective of warfare is to make one's enemy do what
one wants him to do, or to destroy his ability or his will to
resist the carrying out of whatever designs one may have on
him. In a parallel manner, the basic objective of cold war
can be termed as that of demons tra tine to one's enemy the fu-
tility of his resisting your designs on him by means other
than ones of intolerable violence, and that in opposing your
designs he is in a minority position to you and all those
other nations who support your point of view.
The immediate objective of warfare has in the past been
the destruction of the enemy's army; in more recent years there
has been added to this the occupation and control of the ter-
ritory of the enemy. In the cold war system thi3 objective
has to be scaled down to a level commensurate with the weapons
used. On tills level the immediate objective of cold war is
the spreading of one's influence over real estate and the in-
habitants of that real estate, generally, but not necessarily,
at the expense of one's enemy. This can be done by maneuvering
to brinr; abcut the political, economic, and moral isolation of
one's opponent, in part through a demonstration to the uncom-
mitted or about-to-be committed world of the superiority of
one's own national ideology and institutions to those of the
opponent, as veil as the superiority of one's national power.
Thi3 must be cone in such a manner as to avoid a direct mili-
tary confrontation, and the resulting chance of total war, be-
tween oneself and one's opponent.
Modern technological developments have reduced the
necessity for the above objectives of cold v/ar to be capable
of beinjj gained by the means used. In the past, wars have
generally resulted in the attainment of their basic and im-
mediate objectives by one of the participating nations; and
when neither was successful the war was considered a draw, a
solution was negotiated, and all major participating states
were assured of their continued survival. In the present age,
it is generally considered that the most likely results of
all-out nuclear vrar between the United States and Russia would
be the attainment of the above objectives by neither of the
participants but possibly by a tiiird party who remained un-
involved during hostilities, and the rmitual destruction rather
than the survival of the major participants. Prom this alter-
native, the objectives of cold war do not/have to be attain-
able; they Just have to be as nearly attainable as they would
be by other means, v/hile being less costly to pursue.
Requirements to participat e. ISie nature of cold war as
it was developed before 195j and refined since then places
certain requirements upon those nations who would participate
in it. The requirements concern the nation itself, the op-
ponent, and the prize sought. They can be listed as follows:
1. A legitimate reason for conflict with one's oppon-
ent. This can be a conflict of interest, of prestige, or of
ideology, all of which have been reasons for wars between na-
tions in the past. The limits upon this reason for conflict
to malce it a reason for cold war are that it must not be of
vital interest to the nation concerned for then more violent
means would probably be resorted to irnediately regardless of
possible cost, or it must not be an issue easily resolved by
compromise or mediation. Ideally it should be an issue whose
resolution is not urgent but which is able to arouse the nation-
alistic sentiments of the people and keep them aroused over an
extended period of time.
2. A national ideology. The nature of cold war makes
ideology a necessary element In it. Since the objective of
cold war is the conversion of third parties to one's point of
vie:-/ and against the point of view of one's opponent, ideology
provides a messianic impulse in a nation and a basis upon
which to appeal to the world. National ideology can take many
forms — communism, democracy, Zionism, pan-Arabism — its only
requirement is some kind of -ism or anti-ism to which people
of third countries are more likely to emotionally or intellec-
tually respond than they are to the national interest of a
nation other than their own.
3. Enough national power that the cold war participant
will be taken seriously by the opponent and the v/orld that he
is trying to convert to his point of view. This precludes the
possibility of cold war between a large, powerful nation and
one that is small and weak. This would be so because the small
nation v/ould be unlikely to have the capability of doing in-
Jury to the large one by cold war means, while the large one
v/ould have little incentive to refrain from military action.
4. A prize to be won. Some other nations of the v/orld
must not be so concerned with other things that they remain
unaware or inattentive to the conflict in spite of all efforts
made to atract their notice. Cold war is basically a struggle
for allies to assist in the massing of world opinion and eco-
nomic and social pressure against one's opponent; therefore,
there must be in the world some potential allies who are wil-
ling to be courted and capable cfbeing won.
5. Bipolarity. *.»hile not absolutely necessary for
cold war participation, a situation of at least temporary or
partial bipolarity is of great value. By bipolarity here is
meant a condition whereby a third nation is in such a position
that it is forced to choose the friendship and support of one
or the other of cold war opponents; it cannot afford to choose
neither. This is best illustrated at the present day by the
case of Russia and China, presently vying for the leadership
of world communism. Communist parties throughout the world
that are not in power, and frequently those that are in power,
still need outside support/ and this support must come from
either Russia or China. These two nations are, therefore,
able, if it is to their advantage, to force others to choose
6. Reason to choose cold war over the alternatives of
either hot war or negotiation for the resolution of conflict.
Participation in cold war could take place for either positive
or negative reasons, or both. The negative reason, the most
simple, is the desire to avoid the mutual destruction of nu-
clear war, and this desire must be greater than any urgency to
resolve the issues of conflict. Reasons for choosing cold war
over negotiation could be the hope of improving a ne~ctiatinc
position through the use of cold war methods, -a lack of desire
to resolve the issue at question or a knowled3e that any pos-
sible solution acceptable to one side would be unacceptable to
the other, or the desire for the maintenance of a wartime at-
mosphere for its contribution to the development of internal
consensus or the holding close of reluctant allies.
The rules of conduct . By 195^ the rules for the con-
duct of the cold war had developed into a pattern of sorts.
This pattern was not ri^id, and it was not officially accepted
by either of the competins powers. It was entirely a result
of tacit agreements between the United States and Russia, and
it included areas such as the limiting of war in which even
tacit agreement was lacking. Each time a nation acted in
accord with the established pattern, that nation did so because
to do so wa3 in the national interest at that particular time
and place with consideration given to the materials available;
and there was no apparent concern £iven to the development of
a system of conflict. Yet the pattern did exist, and every
action accepted by the cold war opponent contained within
itself the likelihood of its repetition by either side. Once
the precendent was established, action within the pattern
tended to become safer and easier, especially so as the pos-
sibility of winning the cold war became more and more remote.
By 1956 the pattern of cold v;ar conduct included at-
tempts to win allies to one's side and to isolate one's op-
ponent by any means short of direct military activity. Sub-
version, espionage, and other covert means of projection of
power were becoming accepted by both sides, with the under-
standing that these attempts could be quelled by the govern-
ment concerned by any means available to it and with the sup-
port, but not the direct intervention unless by invitation,
of the cold war opponent. Any internal disturbance which had
been brought about by cold war maneuvering in a country would
be handled as an internal matter, with or without great power
support, and retaliation would not be carried across the bor-
ders of the country concerned. There was given practical
acceptance by this time to the freedom of action of either
great power, without organized interference by the other, in
the territory under its direct control, and to the informal
designation of the vast area of the world controlled by neither
as the area of battle. There was also the question of limited
war between one great power and forces directly supported by
the other, but the implied rules for limitation of war cannot
be said to be sufficiently developed, especially in areas of
vital security interest to either the United States or to
Russia, to contain adequate guidelines for the future.
Keeping in mind the tacit quality of the rules and
precedents of cold war and the qualifying statements already
> made about thef^ it is possible to list the major guidelines
of cold v/ar conduct. They are as follows:
THE TEN COMMAlJDIIEirTS OP COLD WAR
I. Thou Shalt not become involved in a direct military
confrontation with thine enemy.
II. Thou shall not meddle overtly in the affairs of thine
enemy on his ovm territory, nor shalt thou send thy soldiers
into places already occupied by the soldiers of thine enemy.
(Soldiers of a satellite nation or other acceptable third
party may be sent, if they are available and conditions favor
III. Thou shalt make all thy moves with caution, to convince
thine enemy of thy (immediately) limited intent.
IV. Thou shalt not press thine advantages to their fullest,
lest thine enemy be forced into acts of desperation.
V. Thou shalt make war on thine enemy only by means not
directly traceable to thyself.
VI. Thou shalt set someone else to do thy dirty work.
VII. Thou shalt not confess to any action detrimental to the
Interests of thine enemy, even if thou art caught red-handed
VIII. Thou shalt remain in communication with thine enemy at
IX. If thou shouldst become Involved in a direct military
confrontation v/ith thine enemy,, thou shalt take immediate steps
to lower the tensions regardless of the attainment of other
objectives; and thou shalt expect thine enemy to do the same.
X. Thou shalt accept as unalterable by military force any
minor chances in the power balance brought about by enemy ac-
tion within the limits of the above commandments.
'Jinnin;; in cold war . No nation has ever won a cold
war, so there Is no basis in fact from which to extrapolate
the position to be held by such a victor. When the objectives
and the 15,mits of the cold war system are considered, it is
doubtful that a nation would be desirous of o°lnj so far as
to win; at least the powers that have so far been invloved in
cold war have shown no eaccrncss to do so. V/hile victory, how-
ever, may not be important in cold war, the process of winning
certainly is; and the system does provide a method of keeping
score and of tolling which side is In the process of winning at
any particular Moment.
Scorelceepin^ in the cold v:ar is done initially by ex-
pressed world opinion; and later, in an extreme case, it could
be determined by the tangible effects of the increasing or de-
creasing influence on the world scene of a competing power.
ScorekeepinG by world opinion is done through indication of
preference by other nations for the institutions of one cold
war opponent over those of the other, and by increasingly close
tics between formerly uncommitted nations and one opponent
at the expense of the other.
SSie process of winning in the Soviet-American cold war
has come to be measured by the portion of the world and its
people over which the influence of either of the competing
powers is felt, and this can be roughly translated into the
number and strength of either pov/er' s allies at any £iven time.
Alliances with one of the cold war powers can be reflected
through treaties or the Granting of such privileges as mil-
itary bases, but they are more often determined through such
things as voting in the United Nations or even favorable treat-
ment of a competing power in the press of a third country.
Informal alliances reflected through IEJ voting or press treat-
ment are usually unstable and highly vulnerable to chancing
circumstances, so the score of the United States or Russia in
cold war competition can change almost from day to day. Louis
Tischer considered this when he said that there could be no
cold war if all states now aliened with one or the other of the
great powers were unalterably or hopelessly aligned and if all
unaligned governments were unalterably neutral.
Aside from territor}^ gained as a determination of stand-
ins in a cold war, there seems to be some modification, either
as a bonus or as a penalty, given by world opinion in recog-
nition of the methods used to sain the territory. The Soviets
have been considered to have "paid a dear price for the re-
conquest of Hungary in the loss of support they suffered from
sympathetic states in the Western and non-Western worlds, in
the loss of confidence from satellite regimes, and in the in-
creased efforts they were henceforth required to make in or-
der to maintain their satellite empire."^ At the very least,
it is possible for a single incident to be productive of ter-
ritorial sain for one side and a balancing propaganda victory
for the other.
As an outgrowth of cold war scorekeeping, there arises
a weakness in the system because of its requirement for nations
Louis Fischer, Russia , America ar.d the World (New York:
Harper C: Brothers, i960), p. 4.
Charles C, Lerche, The Cold War . . . And After , (Engle-
wood Cliffs: Frentice Hall, Inc., 1963), P. lO'l.
that can be enticed into indicating a preference between
cold war opponents. A cold war cannot be carried on success-
fully between two nations unless soneone else will pay atten-
tion to their struc^le. Even more bothersome to competing
nations is the ease with which cold v/ar lends itself to beinc;
turned to the advantage of powers other than those directly
involved in it. This has been particular^' evident in the
handling of economic warfare and foreign economic assistance.
Neutral or non-committed nations today all too frequently take
assistance from both cold v/ar participants for their own pur-
poses and do not Give support to either except where the cold
war participant is acting directly in accord with the interests
of the neutral. Ilasser of E^ypt was the pioneer in this pat-
tern of action; but he has since been joined by Afghanistan,
Pakistan, India, and others. The situation at the present day
has reached the point where the United States and Russia,
lacking the bipolar! ty still remaining in the Sino-Soviet
conflict, are becoming quite disillusioned about the value of.*
forei£n economic assistance as a weapon against one another.
Ending cold war. Given the unlikelihood of any nation
winning a cold war in absolute terms and the fact that no cold
v/ar started since 19^5 has been brought to a conclusion, any
Judgment on the ending of a cold war will have to be based on
speculation. In the course of the Soviet- American and Sino-
Soviet cold wars, each nation has made ideological committments
that it would find extremely difficult to break. It is quite
possible that the interests of the competing nations, through
the necessity to unite in the face of a common threat or the
arising of business more important than the prosecution of
that particular international quarrel, would incline them away
from the active participation in cold war and into other pur-
suits. In this case it is most likely that the substantive
issues over which a cold war is being waged would decline in
relative importance, and the ideological issues would tend to
gradually become ignored rather than renounced. In this way
a cold war could be brought to an end without a victory for
either side. There have been occasional signs of this happen-
ing in the Soviet-American cold war, but every time so far
something has come up to return it to a more important posi-
tion in the relations between the two states.
Overview . The foregoing analysis has attempted to show
that there has been developing in the years since the end of
the Second VJorld War a new pattern of conflict tailored specif-
ically to the age in which it has been taking place. The
analysis describes a pattern of action, a record of the actions
of two great powers over a space of almost ten years, which by
its completeness as a conceptual whole is capable of belnc
viewed as a system of conflict distinct from nuclear war or
limited war or any other system of conflict. The rules of
cold war have been enforceable only Inasmuch as they have been
In accord with the interests of the competing powers, and ac-
tion will cease to be in accord with them as soon as the action
they prescribe becomes contrary to the interests of the states
involved. One of the more remarkable things about the cold
war system as a v/hole is its stability, . the fact that it con-
tinues to be used even by nations other than those through
whose actions it came to be, and in spite of its obvious
CONCLUSION: APPLICABILITY FOR TODAY
The limits of the system . For some time after 1956
the cold war stayed comfortably within its limits. The Kid-
East interventions of 1953 were respected by Russia. Khrush-
chev's withdrawal of his ultimatum on Berlin in 1959 avoided
a major confrontation, and the American failure to admit open
involvement in the Bay of Pigs episode did the same thing.
The Berlin wall demonstrated the Soviet freedom of action with-
in their own territory and the acceptance by the United States
of Soviet dominance behind the iron curtain. The war in Viet
Nam was not escalated, partly because of the lack of guidelines
in the system for the escalation into limited or unlimited war.
Then came the Cuban missile crisis of 1962.
In the Cuban missile affair, the Russians did not ex-
ceed the bounds of the cold war system by having missiles in
Cuba; their military value was minor compared to the nuclear
striking power possessed by either great power. '.There they
exceeded the limits of the system was in flaunting these mis-
siles in the face of the United States after their initial
discovery had been made and thereby turning an annoying Russian
satellite of limited value into a direct affront to American
security and, more directly, to American prestige as a great
Before the speech by President Kennedy, the United
States made war preparations sufficient to convince Russia
that she was willing to fight if necessary to have this threat
to her well-being removed from Cuba. Any action on the part
of the United States would be directed entirely against the
missiles in Cuba, but because of Russia's inability to defend
this area by any limited means the fighting could not stop in
Cuba without a serious prestige loss to the Soviet Union. At
the same time, President Kennedy's political demands upon Rus-
sia were moderate. She would be required only to remove the
offensive weapons from Cuba, and there would be no on-site
inspection to ensure that all the weapons were taken away.
The demands left the implication that some missiles could be
left behind, so long as a reasonable number were removed and
any left behind were not situated so as to be visible to Amer-
ican reconnaissance aircraft. Once these requirements had been
met, Russia was effectively prohibited from making any cold war
capital from whatever missiles, if any, she had remaining in
The Cuban missile crisis demonstrated that there can
arise situations of national status or security which are be-
yond the capacity of the cold war system to handle. These
situations must be avoided when possible. Once involved in
such a situation, one power has to retreat; but that retreat
must be made as painless as possible by the other. Here the
common interest of both powers in the avoidance of an intol-
erable level of violence must override whatever national power
interest each is pursuing. The common interest in the avoid-
ance of nuclear hostitities in the Cuban missile crisis was
effective in bringing the cold v/ar opponents to cooperate to
reduce the level of international tension; no one is ea^er to
again push this common interest to the extent it was pushed
Evaluation of the system . Like any other systematic
pattern of action, the cold war system of conflict has its
strengths and its weaknesses. The first strensth of the cold
war system is that it does provide a channel for the expres-
sion of conflict between nations. In the past this wa3 not
so important; but in the present day, to use the words of
Charles 0. Lerche, the provision of a channel by which nations
can "conduct conflict that is tense, permanent, and wide-
ran^ins in an era of total ideologies and hydrogen bomb3 with-
out blowing everyone to bits is a major accomplishment."
Charles 0. Lerche, The Cold V/ar ... And After (En^le-
wood Cliffs: Prentice Hall, Inc., 193FL p. 3^.
As well as providing a means for conflict expression,
the cold war system has the capability of bringing about the
resolution of minor issues between nations. Toward this end
its techniques may be a way of mobilizing world opinion to
encourage settlement of an issue by arbitration or other non-
violent means more favorable to one side than the other. For
larger issues, it could theoretically make the influence of
one competing power sufficiently greater than his opponent;
that the issue at stake would be thereby reduced in importance,
if net resolved.
Already mentioned has been the value of cold war to the
government of a competing power for its effect on the internal
political conditions of a nation. It allows a government to
exercise wartime powers without facing wartime dangers. It
permits expression of the dissatisfaction of a nation with the
conduct of another state through a method easier than that of
war, and it can assist in the maintenance of an internal con-
sensus in support of the government in power. A cold war in
progress can be of value also in the maintenance of alliances
which give economic or other benefit but which would tend to
disintegrate in the absence of an external threat.
The principal weaknesses of cold war as a system of con-
flict would appear to be its expensivencss, its indecisivness,
the dangers Involved in Its conduct, and its susceptability to
use by others. Cold war in all its ramifications, from pres-
tige competition in space to the maintenance of large estab-
lishments for foreign propaganda and economic assistance, Is
a costly business; and It draws upon funds that could be put
to more productive use in other fields. While the cold war
may be theoretically capable of resolving issues, the exper-
ience of the Soviet-American and Sino-Soviet conflicts has
shown that little can be expected to be resolved by cold war
means. There is danger involved in the prosecution of cold
war, for although the possibility of Inadvertant hot war can
be kept small, it cannot be entirely eliminated. Finally,
there is the frustrating experience of watching a neutral ac-
cept assistance without giving acceptable political behavior
in return or being able, through the threat of giving support
to the cold war opponent, to force a great power to act con-
trary to its own Interests in support of the neutral.
The deciding factor In favor of the continued existence
of cold war as a system of conflict is a comparison between it
and its alternative as a system of conflict for this age. The
cold war is not inexpensive, but it is less expensive even
than the conventional wars of the past. It is indecisive, but
so have been other wars fought for intangible objectives; and
the best prospect available to even an exhausted victor of a
future nuclear exchange would be to be ripe for domination by
a power that had not participated in the exchange. The inten-
sity of cold war has to be controlled at least at the upper
limit,, but in the age of the balance of nuclear terror it is
in the interest of the survival of all states to exercise
this control. The system does allow the possibility of making
limited ^ains while conducting and articulating a great-power
conflict through relatively non-destructive means; and this
small. capability, set against its alternative, gives the sys-
tem its value at the present day.
Applicability for today . At the present tine there are
two cold wars being waged In the world. Each has been in ex-
istence for some years and shows no signs of soon coming to
an end. Simultaneously, there are several other international
disagreements, those between the United States and France,
Indonesia and Ifelaysia, and Israel and the Arab world, whose
expression involves some of the techniques of cold war but
fail to meet some of the requirements of the system. In the
contemporary world the cold war system of conflict has been
providing a relief valve for the expression of great-power
conflict, and the experience of the participating nations has
demonstrated their ability to draw some satisfaction from it.
The cold war system has served as a vehicle of expression of
conflicting interests of the participating nations, as well as
for the airing of uncor.proniseable ideological differences
that are not amenable to resolution by any means and whose
resolution is not really required in the normal relations be-
tween states. Until there is found a better method of airinj
and expressing conflict or until ideology declines in impor-
tance in the makeup of national states, it can be expected that
the cold war system will continue to serve its present func-
tion in international affairs.
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